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Comment #1564879 by Shaun the Sheep

Shaun the Sheep Sep 6th 2013, 2:00 PM #

So not only was she unwilling to pay the midwifes insurance herself (which was the HSEs concern as there are limited public funds) but now she expects others to pay her legal bill? This case was about money, nothing more. The ‘state’ did not refuse her a home birth, and did not infringe on her rights, but simply said they could not afford the insurance premium which was high given the history of huge payments arising out of births where negligence has been proven.

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Woman in home birth case faced with €10,000 legal bill

Woman in home birth case faced with €10,000 legal bill

The High Court decided not to award legal costs against Aja Teehan but today she said her family is trying to raise the funds to pay their own significant legal bill.

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    Favourite Ted Carroll
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:16 PM

    Read the article again, she doesn’t have to pay the HSE’s bill. She will still have to pay her own but in my humble opinion all of them rights groups that were so vocal through this trial should foot the bill for her.

    378
    Favourite maternityire
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:20 PM

    That is entirely untrue, Shaun. You need to check your facts.

    Aja Teehan believes – with just cause – that she is in danger of being forced to have another caesarean if she attends the same hospital in Kilkenny where she had her first child.

    She genuinely believes that a home birth is the best option for herself and her baby.

    She is willing to pay privately for an independent midwife to attend her at home. She found a midwife who was willing to take her as a client.

    However

    Following new ruling a few years ago, all independent midwives are insured by the HSE and therefore have to follow their guidelines, whether they agree with them or not. Aja Teehan was never given the option of paying the insurance for her midwife herself – that’s not how it works, and it’s completely inaccurate of you to state that this is the case.

    I admire Aja for undertaking the stress and cost of a case like this while pregnant, which potentially would have benefitted all pregnant women in Ireland who are struggling to have autonomy in their own health care.

    I for one will be donating what I can to the fund for her costs.

    151
    Favourite Jim Brady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:30 PM

    Let’s not kid ourselves, this is not a story about choice, or costs, or even mothers’ rights.
    This is a story about someone looking for attention.

    1047
    Favourite ManOnTheStreet
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:41 PM

    Couldn’t agree more Jim. ;)
    Think about it, we all know at least one person who just lives for drama. She seems like one of these type of people.
    She could have used that 10k and had a wonderful private home birth. But there’d be no drama that way.

    652
    Favourite Criminal
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:42 PM

    Shaun u need to an author. Great explainatin (thumb up)

    29
    Favourite Sinead Taaffe
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:53 PM

    I read in some other news article a while ago that the HSE weren’t prepared to take responsibility and so said if she signed a legal document freeing the HSE of any responsibility of anything that might go wrong with the home birth they were happy to pay for the midwifes insurance but she wouldn’t do it. Don’t know whether or not it’s true just something I read.

    317
    Favourite maternityire
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:56 PM

    Man on the Street: she wasn’t allowed to have a home birth! That’s the whole POINT.

    You didn’t read the article very well, did you?

    53
    Favourite maternityire
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    Sep 6th 2013, 2:57 PM

    Sinead, that’s not true.

    The HSE said she could give birth at home without a midwife. Not quite the same thing.

    67
    Favourite Sinead Taaffe
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:11 PM

    Well either way it points to the fact she wants to take the risk of having a home birth but if anything goes wrong she wants it to be the HSE to take the responsibility, you take the risk yourself you take the responsibility, much like in this case.

    462
    Favourite ManOnTheStreet
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:24 PM

    I have read the article Maternityire. It’s says the HSE wouldn’t provide a HSE contracted midwife.
    That’s why I said private.
    But it’s more fun to have your name splashed all over the press. To turn up at the court hearing like its a movie premiere. To get on the radio and the six o clock news.
    She might as well wear a sandwich board with the words “LOOK AT ME”

    383
    Favourite Mary King
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:25 PM

    Just wondering why the first baby had to be delivered by section ?

    44
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:28 PM

    So is she, Mary.

    45
    Favourite ManOnTheStreet
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:32 PM

    I’m not sure what the suggestion is there Mary and Colin.
    It sounds like you are saying the big evil doctors enjoy doing these operations just for the craic.
    Yes, the stats are higher for that hospital. But if coincidences didn’t happen, we would have the word coincidence.

    127
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:33 PM

    Man on the Street, I don’t think private midwives exist (the HSE is the only provider in town.) In my opinion, this case brings up some interesting thoughts about the HSE’s (for lack of a better word) monopoly on affordable insurance options.

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    Favourite ManOnTheStreet
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:38 PM

    If she is willing to travel to another country for a home birth Nick, she could have flown in a midwife for a proper home birth. She was willing to spend thousands in court after all.
    Ive nothing at all against home births. But rules have to be set. She fell outside these rules. She practiced her right to challenge them rules and lost. End of story IMO.
    Your other point about HSE monopoly of midwives is a fair one if true. But that is a different discussion.

    177
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:41 PM

    Hey ManonTheStreet,
    good to talk again!
    The suggestion on my part is that I heard an interview with her.
    She wasn’t told why it was needed. But I don’t think they need to.

    30
    Favourite Izzy lady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:53 PM

    After having two children myself one very hard birth with medical intervention and one very straight forward and easy birth I just don’t understand why anyone would want a home birth, I don’t care about statistics that say how safe it can be, I’d rather be prepared and in the best place for if something did go wrong because you just can never tell. Can anyone tell me if a women needs a few stitches after a home birth who does it? The midwife??

    339
    Favourite Rufus Hound
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:55 PM

    That’s patently untrue: it has to be. She can choose not to attend a hospital at all and remain wherever she likes for the duration if her labour; but the issue with the HSE is most definitely its unwillingness to indemnify the midwife, not where or how Ms Teehan gives birth.

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    Favourite Jed I. Knight
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:56 PM

    Just to clarify a few issues. The Irish Independent are reporting comments from the judge in this case, Judge O’Malley, who said that although Aja teehan argued the risk to a home birth was minimal “there was no suggestion she would waive liability in respect of any injury resulting from a decision to engage a midwife for a home birth.”
    With regard to the central issue of the midwife’s insurance cover the good judge is reported as saying “the midwife she proposed to use would not act without insurance. Ms Teehan was asking the HSE to assume the burden of liability relating to a risk it considered, on reasonable grounds, was better avoided.”
    From the judges words then she wanted to have her home birth but was all to well aware that no matter how small the risk there was still a risk and wanted a midwife present. She was willing to pay for that midwife but, as we all know every medical professional has to have insurance cover and a midwife is no exception so there was two options her.
    Aja Teehan could waive any liability and, presumably, negate the need for insurance cover. She made the decision not to do this, she wanted the midwife to have insurance cover. Ok then, next option.
    She wanted the HSE to pay for the midwives insurance. Needless to say the HSE said if they’re paying for the midwives insurance then they’re deciding on the risk and said no thanks.
    She could have proceeded with a third option, given birth at home without a midwife but it seems she’s decided to give birth in the UK now.

    222
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 3:57 PM

    Yes, the midwife.
    So many women I know would be of the same opinion as you, Izzy.
    But it’s the women who are distrustful of doctors & hospitals that is her concern.

    24
    Favourite Rufus Hound
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:05 PM

    My comment was in reply to Maternityire’s and not Izzy Lady’s with which, incidentally, I agree entirely.

    24
    Favourite ManOnTheStreet
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:13 PM

    What’s up Colin. ;)
    I heard her being interviewed on ray darcy and she said she didn’t know why the C sec was performed. She was clearly implying the doctors did it for no reason whatsoever.
    I can’t get on board with this. I don’t believe the doctors are carrying out operations that are not required.
    That interview completely soured me against her.

    206
    Favourite bcwestern
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:19 PM

    A midwife from another jurisdiction would not be covered by insurance in Ireland so that is not an option.

    41
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:24 PM

    All good, Man!
    Are c-sections carried out to fast track births? (I’m just asking, honestly!)
    I know the hospital with the highest rate is Mount Carmel.

    Does it help free up beds?

    28
    Favourite Shaun the Sheep
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:26 PM

    @ted I was referring to the insurance cost for the midwife

    11
    Favourite Shaun the Sheep
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:30 PM

    @maternityire how would she be ‘forced’ to have a c-section? I understand that hospital procedure typically require patient concent.
    In this case, she could have chosen to have the baby at home without a HSE approved midwife.
    No one was forcing her to do anything. Ireland has a public health system that has to serve the whole population not the whim of an individual

    122
    Favourite Shaun the Sheep
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:32 PM

    @maternityire who is ‘not allowing’ her have a home birth? She still can, just not one facilitated by the HSE

    99
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:33 PM

    I would disagree with you on that, Man on the Street, that all c-sections are only done in an emergency. As well documented, Victoria Beckham had three based on football scheduling and elective c-sections are becoming more common. A c-section is major surgery and its worth having a discussion within the HSE as to whether it’s becoming the default option.

    30
    Favourite Izzy lady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:33 PM

    From my own experiences the only time the doctor gets involved is if there is a problem. I’m just baffled by this women Colm to be honest, I can’t help but feel she’s a bit selfish and I just keep thinking oh this could happen or this the list is just endless

    114
    Favourite Nigel Fogarty
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:44 PM

    Who is stopping her from having a home birth. I’m sure if she really wanted to ,she could stay at home and give birth unless your telling me that the hse are going to drag her into hospital forcefully.

    84
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:45 PM

    Izzy, there are a lot of women who find it more comforting to have the individualised attention of a midwife (particularly after health and safety concerns of various hospitals have come out lately.) It’s by no means always an irresponsible option and there are some great midwives out there. In many cases, it’s just not possible due to risk factors, but for some women, it’s the responsible choice for them.

    31
    Favourite Izzy lady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 4:48 PM

    Most c-sections in mount Carmel are by choice and I was in labour for 72hrs and crying for a c-section and was told NO, none of my friend have had a section needlessly buts not to say it doesn’t happen either tho

    59
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 5:11 PM

    I would agree, Izzy, that I find the vastly varying rates between hospitals to be a bit concerning – implying either that women in Kilkenny are far less healthy than women in Dublin (not sure that’s likely!) or that hospitals have different policies on it. Homebirth for every woman obviously isn’t the answer, but it’s certainly something that should be looked into a bit more.

    31
    Favourite Joe Harbison
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    Sep 6th 2013, 5:39 PM

    The judge said there was no suggestion she was willing to waive her right to sue the midwife if things went wrong. It was a key finding. The midwife was unwilling to assist without indemnity.

    90
    Favourite Bronagh Butler
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    Sep 6th 2013, 5:50 PM

    Hear hear!

    18
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:02 PM

    Ironically enough (considering this case), Man on the Street, apparently lawsuits are a major reason that c-sections have increased. While being too cautious in ordering a section can lead to a malpractice suit, being too eager rarely will, so sometimes doctors will offer a section “just in case.” The trick is to make sure the pendulum doesn’t swing too far either way – obviously they’re necessary in emergencies, but sections shouldn’t be the first option in normal births.

    28
    Favourite Pauline Fallon-Corcoran
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:03 PM

    Yes the midwife does them. And in hospital a lot of midwives will suture also.

    33
    Favourite Peace for All
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:06 PM

    Tell me one insurance company that wouldn’t indemnify a midwife for the cost of the legal bills alone. This seems more likely that the person was told “no” due to costs to the HSE, but decided she would get her pound of flesh by suing the HSE knowing the legal bills would be steep and costly. Very bad form.

    “I understood when I took the case that there would be repercussions(read costs) but I considered it to be my personal responsibility….. ”

    @Maternityire
    I think people don’t have too much of an issue with homebirths per se, but when there is a history of difficulty with delivery it’s reasonable to assume a higher risk. That’s what the courts found, that it was reasonable. The person you are advocating for has not been reasonable in her demands, hence why she lost the case.

    As for :
    ” failure of the State to recognise a woman’s right to self-determination in pregnancy.”

    Delivery is about delivering a baby alive and healthy and helping the mother achieve that and maintain her health too , being in control and having your favourite wallpaper and your favourite mug for a cup of tea after is way down the line in priorities compared with the over all goals of delivery.

    80
    Favourite Brendan
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:08 PM

    … Victoria Beckham had three based on football scheduling.

    This is the world we live in now.

    28
    Favourite Mary Crimmins
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:12 PM

    If it’s so low risk (in her mind) why not waive responsibility? There must be a little bit of her brain engaged. Unless, of course, it was for attention.
    Whatever the reason it’s sickening.
    I want to let my 5 year old drive my car. I’d feel safer that way. She could make her own way to school boxed into a steel cage. I might take FBD to court for not insuring her. They wouldn’t even negotiate. Bastards.

    120
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:23 PM

    Hi Mary,
    Congrats on the most ludicrous argument yet mentioned on The Journal.
    As for the no insurance suggestion, why would she? That’s just downright irresponsible.
    People think she should be in a hospital for the safety of her child, but yet want her to waive liability at home. That’s just a downright contradiction. She wants the best for her child. She just doesn’t believe that this will happen in a hospital. She wants expectant mothers to have a choice. Simple.

    25
    Favourite Colin Tyrrell
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    Sep 6th 2013, 6:40 PM

    *accept liability*

    4
    Favourite Mary Crimmins
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    Sep 6th 2013, 7:51 PM

    Why wouldn’t this happen in a hospital. Last I heard you need to give consent for procedures. If she doesn’t want to have a c section she doesn’t get one. If she doesn’t want oxytocin she doesn’t get it. You’re entitled to refuse treatment.
    She wants the state to shell out for something that it doesnt agree to and that medical professionals feel is not in her or her child’s best interest. Rather than grandstanding and costing the tax payer enourmous legal fees she cough up the money herself. She has no problem spending public money on wishy washy ideals. Just because you belive something doesn’t make it true. Just because you feel something is unfair doesn’t mean it is. Attention seeking seems to be the crux of it from what I can gather.

    87
    Favourite Izzy lady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 8:11 PM

    Nick I can totally understand for comfort reasons why any women would rather be at home but I would never take the chance. I do think we need more options as I would had a water birth on my second if possible but was told I couldn’t due to insurance, I believe mid-wife’s are much better option as care givers during pregnancy and labour but I live a good 22miles from the nearest maternity hospital anyone who doesn’t live seconds away from one is really taking their chances

    44
    Favourite Nick Beard
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    Sep 6th 2013, 8:25 PM

    And in that case, it probably isn’t right for you (especially if you like the hospital and feel comfortable with it.) But remember about a month ago, it came out that lack of handwashing was a problem in some hospitals? If I lived near there in Waterford, I might think twice about giving birth there as a result.

    13
    Favourite Izzy lady
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    Sep 6th 2013, 8:46 PM

    Hygiene in the hospitals in general is an issue I had my babies in the rotunda and to be honest I found it filthy and as for food or the lack of food to women who need their strength, the meals where nice but portion sizes where tiny and I’m not a big eater, Half a sandwich in the evenings I couldn’t believe it, I felt weak after breast feeding and had to get my partner to bring me in food, now its like its all coming bk to me, my baby and the baby across from me had to be put into an incubator for a few hours because their temps dropped due to the draft from the windows we were squashed up against, it was warmer out in the corridor then the ward, my partner basically delivered the baby but I won’t bore people with that lol so I guess the more I think about it a home birth doesn’t sound all that bad

    20
    Favourite Barbara Western
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    Sep 6th 2013, 9:06 PM

    @joe harbison the midwife can be charged up to 60,000 euros and face up to 5 years in jail if she attends a home birth and is not insured (by the state claims agency/hse, who provide the indemnity)

    35
    Favourite Gillian Foale
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    Sep 6th 2013, 9:25 PM

    But isn’t there a huge chance her baby could be in danger if a c section is needed and not available in time? Women’s rights shouldn’t be an issue, only the safe delivery of the baby should matter! Isn’t that the only thing any pregnant woman should want ultimately?

    80
    Favourite Jenna Healy
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    Sep 6th 2013, 9:25 PM

    Private hospitals tend to have high c-section rates because they are driven up by the fact that private patients can choose elective c-sections. I know there can be other factors involved, but this should not be ignored every time we point out that c-section rates are higher in the private sector. (Especially as it’s being used as evidence for why women should have autonomy.)

    24
    Favourite Gillian Foale
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    Sep 6th 2013, 9:38 PM

    But isn’t the baby in danger is a c section is needed and not readily available?? Women’s rights shouldn’t be an issue, the only thing that should matter is the safe delivery of the baby, chances are that will be by c section hence the decision!! I don’t understand this woman, I really don’t! When you are bringing another human being into their well being should be paramount…

    39
    Favourite Rufus Hound
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    Sep 7th 2013, 12:54 AM

    It’s been suggested that c-sections may be the preferred option of the HSE to fast track births, and while this may be the choice of some women (such as the ‘too posh to push’ brigade who frequent Mount Carmel) the public hospital authorities will not favour them on a cost basis. That’s because the sheer number of staff and equipment required for such major surgery, not to mention bed days for patient recovery time, means in costs them WAY more than traditional midwife assisted births!

    12
    Favourite My Thoughts
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    Sep 7th 2013, 2:16 AM

    Does she honestly think the HSE are going to put themselves in a position to have another case on their hands after the ‘Savita’ case ?? Maybe I’m picking this story up wrong re: HSE being the insurers of the midwife ?
    But in my personal opinion … There was reasons for having the first baby by section… It’s advised you only have 3 children via section and not to have a natural birth after a previous section anyway… So why would she put herself, and her unborn , at that risk?
    People will do anything to get into the spotlight …
    Like go to hospital and have a healthy baby and stop acting the marter .. I’d sooner have that epidural into me and delivering me child in a safe environment than the floor at home with no pain medication … The clean up for one would be one aspect….! Mad woman !

    Mayo 4 Sam 2013!!

    22
    Favourite Joe Tighe
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    Sep 7th 2013, 5:35 AM

    Nick, have followed your arguments with interest, and would echo your concerns. Don’t have a baby.

    6
    Favourite Tara Browne
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    Sep 7th 2013, 10:30 AM

    Colin, I had a c-section it was because my baby was breech (feet down instead of head down) I had to have it for the safety of my baby as labour could have been dangerous, I was given the option of an ecv where they attempt to turn the baby from the outside into the correct position it failed so a section was the only option for me, and let me tell ya it doesnt free up beds, if anythin a natural birth free’s up the bed’s as long as its not your first baby and there are no issues you are home the next day, I was in for 5 days after a section!

    11
    Favourite Bronagh Butler
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    Sep 7th 2013, 10:35 AM

    Beckham had her babies in states/countries where an elective c-section is an option, not Ireland.

    5
    Favourite Ann Farrelly Kirrane
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    Sep 7th 2013, 12:07 PM

    “Class” Joe

    1