Dr Tim Crayford, president of the Association of Director of Public Health said in yesterday’s newspapers that women who request elective Caesareans on the NHS should pay for them, and that the money being spent on Caesareans should be spent on Herceptin, the breast cancer drug.
Actually, one cannot have an elective Caesarean on the NHS, that’s a little fact which could spoil his press release – but why let the truth get in the way of his day of fame?
A Caesarean means a relatively painless childbirth. Super models, film stars, anyone with money often have one. That’s why they look as though they have been to a health farm the day after the birth rather than the local Hammer House of Horrors, which is what a local Labour ward equates to.
I am sorry if all you natural childbirthers are squealing in protest, its how I feel, and I am entitled to my opinion.
I say we should have both, Herceptin and Caesareans.
How about this, Dr ‘all heart’ Crayford, a group of scientists devise a way of assessing the level of pain experienced during childbirth, and the average duration of that pain. Judging by my own experience, and that of friends and colleagues, I would say that’s about twelve or so hours.
We put you on a bed, attach sensors to your abdomen and nether regions and you lie there and experience the exact same pain for twelve hours, you know, right from the very first contraction when your brain screams ‘oh no, how much longer, I can’t stand anymore’.
We will then ask you to deliver a rugby ball (not the way you might think) via an unusual orifice, and give you a nice episiotomy with a few (dozen) stitches. This is because your perineum will have ripped passing the rugby ball, either that or a midwife will have cut it with an instrument resembling the garden shears – with half the junior doctors from the medical school looking on of course, how else can they learn?
After that we can simulate a post partum haemorrhage, give you six units of blood, piles and a bad headache.
You can then get up and start looking after a new baby, ( we will borrow one) because there aren’t any nurses left in the NHS to do it!
Of course, you won’t have had any sleep for about 24 hours, but hey, the fun is just about to begin - even though you can’t walk, wee, sleep or sit down.
When you have done all that, THEN issue a press release saying that women shouldn’t have a choice whether childbirth is painless or not and that it’s a privilege which should be for the rich and/or famous only.
I am not advocating a preference for Caesarean over natural; I am advocating choice and equality of opportunity for all mothers to be, the brave and the cowards, rich or poor.
In the meantime, whilst you consider the childbirth simulator, why don’t you concentrate on discussing something more relevant - such as why has the government spent £35 billion on a computer system which doesn’t work and no one wants – you can buy eonough Herceptin for five continents with that amount of money?