Page last updated at 06:57 GMT, Wednesday, 29 July 2009 07:57 UK

Scrubbing up: Your comments

In this week's Scrubbing Up Cathy Warwick from the Royal College of Midwives says that women should be given the autonomy to choose how they deliver their baby.

When a parent prepares to have a baby, the choices about how to deliver that baby are vast. Options include water birth, epidural, pethodine and Caesarean. Warwick argues that the mother should be allowed to choose from these options without prejudice and that, ultimately it is her decision.

What do you think? Here are some of the comments you have been sending in to this week's Scrubbing up.


Whilst I applaud the strive for more choice in childbirth for women, in reality for many women the choices get narrowed by lack of resources or by what is best for the health institution rather than what the woman feels is right for her and her baby. It is very easy for a woman to be pushed towards a choice she doesn't really want but that suits the medical staff by a few words that induce fear and doubt such as 'that may be putting your baby at risk'. Women shouldn't have to fight for their choices particularly during the birth when they are open and vulnerable.
Rebecca, Hatfield

I do not lump health professionals together as one. There is a clear divide between midwives on the one hand and doctors on the other. I say this from my experience at a hospital where mothers choose either the midwife-led birth centre with its foam mattresses, dimmer switches, tellies and baths (where there is no option of an epidural) or the doctor-led labour ward with its harsh lighting, beeping machines but promises of qualified doctors and drugs.
Ginia, London

In New Zealand it is becoming increasingly difficult to get a doctor to do a birth. There are almost none left willing to do it for reasons mostly surrounding pay. Midwives and birthing clinics are almost the only option unless a woman can afford a private hospital and make arrangements months in advance. Personally I don't want a home birth with a midwife who doesn't have a medical degree. My mother tried it and I almost didn't get here. I will demand a nice, shinny, sterile, hospital room with a doctor and every gizmo modern medicine has ever come up with. I've had plenty of rights of passage in my life so far and I can think of very few that have made me a better person in the long run.
J. Garcia, Auckland, New Zealand

I was born at home in the early seventies. It wasn't necessarily my mum's choice (I don't think she had one). They were short of beds in the hospital and that was why I was born at home. Ultimately, it's still a woman's choice. She doesn't have to follow advice from health professionals but she would be irresponsible not to if she was aware of health risks to herself or baby prior to birth.
Jo, Hove

Health professionals have way too much say and the buck normally stops with the consultant who most women will never get to meet if their pregnancy is considered normal. There is far too much arrogance in the midwifery service especially with first time mothers who are often considered paranoid.
Dawn, Ely

In my opinion, not only health professionals but the media (especially pregnancy magazines) maintain vaginal birth as the normal and proper way of giving birth so much so that it can be absolutely devastating and cause real mental and emotional health problems when medical intervention is deemed necessary.
Natasha, Nottingham

The biggest problem I have had surrounding the choice of where to give birth is that the consultant I have seen has acted as though there isn't a choice and told me that I had to have a hospital birth without explaining why. I'm fed up with being patronised. At my last meeting I was told that I did not need to know what my blood test results were and that it would all be dealt with by the consultants. Surely I have a right to know what is going on, after all it is my body?
Vicky, Suffolk

No woman should have a fixed birth plan because things rarely go as planned. I've opted for home birth four times and all have ended up being induced in hospital because they were long overdue. I understand why this intervention was needed but my only real complaint is in hospital they insist on you lying down to monitor the foetal heartbeat for 30 minutes. In labour all I want to do is stand but once lying down and in agony I cant get back up again. This continuous monitoring does not happen with home births.

I had my first baby two and a half years ago at home. There was no problem. I even had a water-birth attended by six midwives (3 in training). The NHS community midwives were brilliant. I'm so glad I wasn't persuaded to go to hospital. But I feel there is a huge pressure on women who want the safest place to have their babies and think hospital is the only option.
Angela, Slip End, Beds

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific