SureBaby Blog

Too Posh To Push? U.K. National Health Service to Cover Elective C-Sections

Posted by tina

victoria beckham too posh to pushWhile the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have been pushing to reduce the number of elective cesarean sections in the United States, it seems that health officials in the United Kingdom are going the other way.

In Britain, healthcare is free, or in other words paid for by the government. Currently, the cost of a cesarean section is covered only if it is determined to be medically necessary, but new rules mean that soon the National Health Service will pay for the procedure even for women "with no identifiable reason" for a c-section, as long as they have talked it over with their healthcare provider.

Celebrities such as Victoria Beckham and Madonna, who have the money to pay for their own elective c-sections, have created an image in Britain of wealthy women who are "too posh to push". Now the convenience and ease of a scheduled c-section will be available to anyone who'd rather not let nature take its course.

Some are viewing this as a victory. Pauline Hull, who runs a website dedicated to the issue, says "It's about time women who have no desire to view labor as a rite of passage into motherhood be able to choose how they want to have their baby."

Others, like medical historian Louise Foxcroft, see it as "the height of absurd vanity." She says that cesarean sections as a "lifestyle choice" are not much different from cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Daghni Rajasingham, spokeswoman for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, says that from a medical point of view, "as long as it's safe for both mother and baby, a vaginal birth is absolutely the best way for anyone to deliver," because the pressure of a vaginal delivery helps the baby's lungs adapt to breathing.

And there's also the issue of an elective c-section being an unnecessary surgery, with its own risks, not to mention the added price tag now being picked up by British taxpayers.

What do you think - is it a woman's right to choose how she gives birth, and should her insurance (whether public or private) be expected to pay for a cesarean section even if there's no medical reason for it?

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