Thursday, November 22, 2012

Is the obsession with doctor-free births risking lives?

This is the question posed in the Daily Mail this morning, as Carol Sarler asks, Is the NHS’s obsession with doctor-free births putting babies at risk?

Here is the response I've just posted beneath it:

"Considering the DM has published some of the most vociferous criticisms of planned caesareans in the past (including reference to the outdated 1985 WHO recommendation), incl. articles like those of Jenni Murray (Sep.2012 Get real, girls! Pain is part of childbirth, and Nov.2011 The madness of Caesareans on demand), it's about time that the balance is being redressed.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A normal birth and a baby's death

Yesterday I posted the comment below in the Daily Mail article, 'Mother-to-be lost baby after staff at midwife-led birthing centre failed to spot rare pregnancy condition', and you can scroll down further to read a comment posted by another reader, who also lost her baby during labor in a midwife-led birth unit.
Please note that I am not against birth units as a birth choice, but I do not agree that they be encouraged as standard maternity care and policy for all women deemed 'low risk' in the UK.
My comment:

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Support for tokophobic women

Following yesterday's blog on tokophobia, I came across another article today, this time by the BBC, with some positive news for women.

Dr. Malcolm Dickson, a consultant obstetrician at Rochdale Infirmary, is quoted as agreeing that cesareans "are often the best option for women who are terrified of delivering their baby for months beforehand.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Tokophobia support - am I right to be concerned?

"More needs to be done to help women who have a morbid dread of childbirth...", says expert.

I am trying very, very hard not to be cynical about this call for midwives to recognize tokophobia as a legitimate issue affecting as many as 10% of women. Firstly, why has it taken so long and why have so many educated health professionals never even heard of it? But secondly - and more importantly, - why the concern NOW?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Is it ethical to promote normal birth?

Dr. Amy Tuteur's blog yesterday is a must read. She reflects on an article published in the journal Birth the bioethicist Professor Anne Drapkin Lyerly, who writes about social and moral issues in women’s health and reproductive medicine.

Dr, Tuteur says, "[Lyerly] has dared to question the ethics of “normal birth” within the pages of the premier journal of the normal birth industry."

Monday, November 12, 2012

RCM annual conference starts tomorrow...

The 'Midwives Calling' conference and exhibition in Brighton, which will last two days, bills itself as an event for "everyone with an interest in maternity services today". Well, that includes me, but while I'd hoped to watch some of the presentations online, the £49 price tag means that unfortunately, I will likely miss out.

In fact, during ongoing email correspondence with the RCM over the summer, I volunteered to speak at the conference in person - especially since the publication of updated NICE guidance on maternal request cesareans is not fully understood (and is not being properly implemented) by all midwives - but unfortunately, I haven't receive a response to my offer. Maybe next year...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Maternal request cesarean a "societal and professional failure"? I don't think so

Readers of this blog may recall an earlier post in which I reported the reason given by Lamaze International's journal Birth for declining to review our book, Choosing Cesarean: A Natural Birth Plan. Reading no further than the book's summary, our publisher was told, "The content of this book does not match the philosophy of our journal."

It may come as little surprise therefore to read this article by Professor Michael C. Klein, which was published in Birth last week:

The best and worst places to give birth

In the midst of her recent article on, The best and worst places to give birth, Lisa Selin Davis -  who's personal preference, influenced in part by her own mother's experiences, is natural birth - states that, "infant mortality rates from voluntary C-sections are higher than they are for vaginal births". To which I posted the following comment:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Sometimes birth satisfaction is spelt c-e-s-a-r-e-a-n

Just a very quick post this evening - if you get a chance to read this birth story, posted on, please do.

It's about a woman who had an extremely 'normal' birth with very few complications, and medical staff all around her satisfied with how it went.

Yet she was left feeling "violated, betrayed and abandoned" and describes it as "the worst experience of my life".

Why? Because she wanted (and had scheduled) a cesarean but her choice was not respected.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

'Stillborn' baby actually died after being born alive

I have just added a comment to this horrendous story of the suffering and pain parents Emma and Terry Charlton have had to endure.

According to reporter Nazia Parveen, "Ava Mae Charlton was born by emergency caesarean section but she struggled to breathe and died after only 32 minutes. Hospital officials tried to claim the baby was stillborn and so her death did not need to be investigated."

My comment: