Expectant mothers are increasingly demanding Caesarean sections for second babies because their first births were so traumatic, say midwives.
In some maternity units, the numbers wanting the procedure has doubled in the past year.
On top of that, many women were so distressed first time around that they are putting off, or even abandoning, plans to have more babies.
The experience is often unnecessarily stressful because maternity units can be overstretched.
Women are often left alone and scared before and after labour as midwives simply do not have the time to offer them the advice and reassurance they need.
This is where private midwifery care is so beneficial for women: the private midwife does not leave the woman's side, acting as a doula / support person and midwife all at once.
The number of expectant mothers asking for a C-section at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, one of the largest female hospitals in Europe, has increased by 40 per cent in a year.
Other maternity units ... report similar trends.
Birth trauma clinics, which support women after difficult labours, say they have seen a doubling in patients in the past 12 months. Cathy Warwick, of the Royal College of Midwives, said: ‘If a midwife is very busy, clearly she won’t have time between dealing with women in labour to give others emotional support and reassurance.’
Doctors and midwives increasingly offer C-sections if women are fearful of giving birth ...
Midwives also say that increasing numbers of women are suffering from tocophobia, or a fear of childbirth.
Simon Mehigan, a consultant midwife at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, blamed a lack of information or explanation about what was happening in a first pregnancy ...
This is a really great point: it is so important for a woman's first pregnancy and birth experience to be positive as this experience will shape her subsequent pregnancy and birth experiences. It can be easy to "go with the flow" and do what you are told is best for you / your baby, however this approach - almost a passive approach - will lead to a 31% chance of having a caesarean and a majority of women having their first babies with a "go with the flow" attitude will come away disappointed with their experience. It's important not to have firm, fixed beliefs about how a pregnancy and birth will go, because no-one has a crystal ball to know exactly how things will be on the day. But it is really essential to be well informed and well supported by a private midwife who believes in birth and a woman's ability to birth her baby naturally.