Mums-to-be worried about giving birth naturally are to be offered psychiatric counselling under new draft guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE).
The NHS hopes to curb the number of mums-to-be opting for Caesarean sections, which now account for almost a quarter of births, more than double the number 30 years ago. The operation costs the NHS around £2,500 each, compared with the £750 figure for a natural birth.
Expectant mothers will also be informed of the dangers association with C-sections to try and change their minds.
Research has shown C-sections to be far riskier than the natural alternative, with some studies suggesting mothers find it harder to bond with their newborn while recovering from surgery.
Speaking in the Daily Mail, the National Childbirth Trust’s Elizabeth Duff said: ‘When a woman’s pregnancy is normal and there are no medical complications there is good evidence that most women want to give birth with minimal intervention.’
‘Referral to a healthcare professional to help address a woman’s fear of childbirth is a good way of providing support and enabling the mother to have a positive experience of birth.’
Click here for more information on Labour and Birth