Research recently published by Birthrights has highlighted the differences in treatment of women who request a caesarean section.
A caesarean section is requested by women for a number of possible reasons. The report suggests the primary reason being previous traumatic birth followed by underlying medical conditions such as symphysis pubis dysfunction.
The research found that:
NICE guidance states:
‘'For women requesting a caesarean section, if after discussion and offer of support… a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option (Trusts should) offer a planned cesarean section.’
Findings suggest that for women the process can often be lengthy, difficult or inconsistent adding anxiety and distress for the women.
The report highlights what a good maternal request caesarean guideline should look like and offers perspectives from healthcare professionals to support better support of maternal request caesarean.
The full report can be read here.
Consent to research at the time of obstetric emergency
A study has looked into the methods used to obtain women’s consent and women’s thoughts on these methods. The study interviewed women who did and did not give consent at their time of recruitment for the World Maternal Antifibrinolytic (WOMAN) Trial in the UK.
The WOMAN trial was researching treatment for heavy bleeding, consent was being sought in some cases at the time of the bleed. The study was the first in the UK to use the option of waiver of informed consent.
The result of the study suggests:
‘what is important is not so much the consent process used or a signature on a form, but the way in which consent is obtained. Clinicians who successfully negotiate consent to research during childbirth emergencies engage in a ‘humane choreography’ of words and actions.’
It seems that of most importance influence on the good or bad experiences of women is the use of actions and words by the birth attendants.
Full study available here.