"Having my birth taken from me..."

About: Barnsley Hospital / Maternity care

(as the patient),

Pregnant with my 3rd child I was determined to have a natural birth as my previous 2 were caesarean births. I went to my consultant for support and although he didn't say I couldn't have a natural birth he wasnt very supportive and recommended a repeat caesarean.

At 37 weeks I started having contractions and because I am a gbs *(group B strep) carrier I went directly into Barnsley District General Hospital purely because my second child had been infected with gbs at birth. I was found to be 1cm dilated and told I was in slow labour and sent home the following day to wait it out.

One week later the contractions started again, even stronger, so again I returned to hospital and was found to be 2cm dilated! I was sent to the antenatal ward where the contractions died off and was visited the next day by a registrar who told me that if I was going to get scared with every contraction then perhaps I was better just to 'accept' a caesarean as this was probably going to be the outcome anyway and did I know the mortality rates of VBAC's? She obviously hadn't read my notes as the GBS is highlighted on every page and also there was a copy of my birth plan which stated that I am fully aware of the (very small) risks so there was no need to discuss it with me. I was told that I would be kept in hospital until my baby was born.

The next day I was being monitored and my baby's heartrate started to rise, another registrar came to see me and was talking about emergency caesarean which probably panicked me and made things worse. I was told that there wasn't much point in me trying for a natural birth as it just wasn't going to happen which knocked my confidence for 6. My baby's heartrate finally went to normal after 2 1/2 hours of monitoring and then I was given 3 days to have my baby or they were going to do a caesarean.

My baby's heartrate kept rising everytime I was monitored - probably because of the stress I had been put under (that was a quote from the midwife) and to be honest, if it wasnt for the GBS, I wouldn't have gone to Barnsley Hospital until I knew for definite that the baby was on the way.

When it got to the deadline for having my baby and the heartrate was still too high I was told that they had to deliver by caesarean or there would probably be a different outcome ie my baby would die. I was so scared by then that I would have agreed to anything when in reality had they given me a bit more support and not put me under so much stress, I would have probably had a natural birth to a healthy baby.

It't about time that Barnsley Hospital read the 'actual' VBAC statisticts and supported women who 'choose' how to birth their babies.

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Responses

Response from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

We are sorry that in this particular instance it was felt that individual preferences were not supported. The maternity services at Barnsley Hospital, aim to support women in their choices for childbirth wherever possible, in accordance with national guidelines (NICE).

Much work has been done to reduce the number of women having a caesarean delivery unless there is no other safe option, this has included supporting women to have vaginal births after having previously had caesareans. The current rate for caesarean deliveries at the hospital is now 17.77%, which when compared to the national average of 22% is low.

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