Study reveals women at 75 per cent of maternity units are being refused elective caesareans

Women are being denied their request to have a caesarean at 75 per cent of the maternity units across the UK according to a new study.

Every birth is different and not every birth plan goes how you think it will.

Some women will aim for a water birth and their baby will arrive before they’ve even stepped in the pool and others will plan a vaginal birth but will end up needing a caesarean.

Regardless of which birth you choose, the whole point is that you should have all the options to choose from so you can see what works best for you on the day.

However, according to a study conducted by the charity Birthrights, only 26 per cent of maternity units are complying with the guidelines which allow women to opt for a caesarean even if it is for non-medical reasons.

Out of the 146 trusts that submitted their policies to the Birthrights survey, under a Freedom of Information request, 15 per cent refused all elective caesarean requests.

The current guidelines state that women opting for a caesarean for non-medical reason should be offered support and advice and if at the end she is still certain a caesarean is the best option she could be allowed to make this informed decision.

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‘Nobody gets points for difficulty level’ One woman explains why she had an elective C-section

They also state that if one obstetrician is unwilling to perform an elective caesarean, the woman should be referred to someone else that can help with her request.

One woman who was refused a caesarean told the BBC that she suffered a haemorrhage when she had to give birth vaginally, and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

For her second pregnancy, Lucie Tidman was also refused a caesarean and this resulted in another haemorrhage and her baby having to go into neo-natal intensive care.

She explained: ‘She [Lucie’s daughter] had to have rescue breaths and my other half saw her come out purple. She got taken one way and I got taken to theatre. It was horrific.’

Speaking about the study’s findings, Rebecca Schiller, chief executive of Birthrights, said: ‘It is clear that women requesting caesarean sections meet judgemental attitudes, barriers and disrespect more often than they find compassion and support.

‘We are concerned that this lack of respect for patient dignity could have profound negative consequences for the emotional and physical safety for women.’

Were you refused a caesarean at your maternity unit? Head over to our Facebook page to share your experience with us!