(Please note that not all activities are included here as I often do not find time to update this page)
British Medical Journal (BMJ) letters:
*Aug 7, 2013 NICE says a planned caesarean section SHOULD be offered to women who request it
*Nov 3, 2011
Why do some women prefer birth by caesarean? An internet survey
*Jun 1, 2012 Flawed analysis may be used to restrict birth choices
*Apr 30, 2012 Concerned that flawed analysis may be used to restrict birth choices
*Apr 2, 2011 Midwife led care is not appropriate for all low risk women, and its cost-effectiveness is not proven
*Oct 2010 Routinely recording women's weight would aid future analysis
*Aug 4, 2010 ACOG wants to allow - not urge - more VBACs
*Jul 4, 2010 Homebirth versus elective caesarean risks
*Jul 30, 2008 New research finds lowest maternal mortality rate with elective cesarean delivery
*Mar 3, 2008 Further evidence of reduced infant morbidity with cesarean delivery on maternal request at 39 weeks EGA
August 24, 2012
Press release: New RCOG guidance urges CCGs to increase births without epidurals and reduce caesarean rates to 20%
Controversial guidance contained in a new document published by the Royal College of Obstetricians (RCOG) could result in worse health outcomes for mothers and babies, and greater costs for the NHS, say maternity campaigners and doctors.
[Intervening months to be updated - see blog for more info]
May 11, 2012
Quoted, and book mentioned, in Toronto Star article, Caesarean section: The Star goes inside the operating room for this look at why C-section rates matter.
May 01, 2012
Letter titled, "Concerned that flawed analysis may be used to restrict birth choices" was published in the BMJ, in response to the cost-effectiveness analysis of the November 2011 Birthplace study.
March 17, 2012
Interviewed on BBC Radio 4's Today programme for Jane Hughes' report on the NCT's history, commenting, "Because of its size and power, it's presented these choices to MPs as being something that all women want, when in fact for example, more women are choosing a cesarean than a homebirth, and there are women who choose not to breastfeed and there are women who choose to breastfeed. So I hope that going forward, the NCT is more willing perhaps to listen to the views of other smaller organizations that represent women, and that they can be fully supportive of all choices."
March 02, 2012
Interviewed on BBC Sussex and BBC Surrey Danny Pike show on the subject of our new book, Choosing Cesarean, A Natural Birth Plan and the issue of some PCTs and hospitals not following the November 2011 NICE recommendations."
Prometheus Books in New York published "Choosing Cesarean, A Natural Birth Plan" by Dr. Magnus Murphy and Pauline Hull.
December 09, 2011
Contacted BBC Complaints and Woman's Hour programme makers in response to Jenni Murray's November 23 report on the NICE Caesarean section guideline (update), in light of her Daily Mail article, published just weeks earlier.
November 30, 2011
Attended the NHS Alliance Conference in Manchester, speaking with many representatives from many healthcare organizations on the subject of cesarean rate targets and maternal request. Request made for information (incl. DoH letter, below) to be handed to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley; response was affirmative by NHSA staff but no confirmation yet that it was received.
November 24, 2011
Interviewed on BBC Scotland's Call Kaye programme on the subject of the NICE Caesarean (update) guideline
November 23, 2011
Interviewed on ITV Daybreak, Sky News, BBC London 94.9, BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio Hull on the subject of the NICE Caesarean (update) guideline recommendation on Maternal Request, published today
November 22, 2011
Interviewee for BBC 1 The One Show's cesarean request film, presented by Angellica Bell.
November 18, 2011
Submitted an open letter to the Department of Health outlining my concerns with target cesarean rates that are in place in many hospitals throughout the UK. Both Jeremy Hunt MP and Daniel Poulter MP have agreed to forward my concerns to the DoH. On November 22, Jeremy Hunt MP contacted me to confirm that my letter has been forwarded to Anne Milton, Minister for Public Health. As at December 11th, no confirmation yet from Daniel Poulter. MP.
November 04, 2011
Together with co-author Dr. M Murphy, submitted a formal request to FIGO for a review of its 1998 statement regarding Ethical Aspects Regarding Caesarian Delivery For Non Medical Reasons: “At present, because hard evidence of net benefit does not exist, performing Caesarean section for non-medical reasons is ethically not justified.”
November 04, 2011
Interview (and pictures) by Associated Press journalist Maria Cheng, "Too posh to push? More C-sections on demand in UK", published online.
November 03, 2011
Research published in the British Journal of Midwifery: Why do some women prefer birth by caesarean? An internet survey. By Pauline Hull, Carol Bedwell, Tina Lavender (BJM, Vol. 19, Iss. 11, 02 Nov 2011, pp 708-716)
November 01, 2011
The NHS Litigation Authority formally confirmed that in response to my request for claims data to be separated into births relating to an
emergency or a planned cesarean, it will "introduce a system for recording this information on new claims in future."
October 31, 2011
Interviewed on BBC Breakfast television, BBC London and BBC Radio 5 Live on the subject of the NICE Caesarean (update) guideline draft recommendation on Maternal Request
October 30, 2011
Interviewed on Sky News on the subject of the NICE Caesarean (update) guideline draft recommendation on Maternal Request.
October 25, 2011
Met with APPG on Maternity Chair Dr. Daniel Poulter MP to discuss issue of maternal request and influences and policies on cesarean rate targets in UK hospitals. Dr. Poulter agreed to pass a letter containing my concerns to the Department of Health (to be completed).
October 25, 2011
Attended and spoke at the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) meeting on Maternity at the House of Commons (Portcullis House), Westminster. Speakers: Lord Winston, House of Lords; Professor John Cleland, LSHTM; Dr. Shane Duffy, Maternity Worldwide; Professor James Walker, RCOG.
September 18, 2011
Contacted the NHSLA chief executive, Steve Walker, and requested that all entries into the NHSLA maternity claims database specifiy whether the caesarean birth was planned or emergency surgery (where the claim actually relates to a caesarean). Currently, research into litigation claims data is being hampered by the fact that a large number of cases and claims do not make this distinction.
September 05, 2011
Contacted BBC News (click to read article) and Daily Mail (see blue box summary) reporters to inform them that the NICE Guideline Caesarean section (update) final draft now includes the recommendation, "For all women requesting a CS, if after discussion and offer of support (including perinatal mental health support for women with anxiety about childbirth), a vaginal birth is still not an acceptable option, offer a planned CS." Excellent news!!
September 02, 2011
Contacted FIGO regarding inaccuracies contained within an article on its website (about blood clot risk with maternal request cesareans). FIGO graciously apologized for the mistakes and agreed to remove the article immediately.
September 01, 2011
First interview clips for One World Birth went live during its online launch today. My first comment appears in the video: Is there a conflict in birth?
August 31, 2011
Invited as a Guest Speaker on BBC Radio York with Jonathan Cowap, in response to 'NHS banning maternal request' story.
August 24, 2011
Pre-recorded interview (30min. duration) on 'Planned Caesarean' went live on mybabyradio.com today.
August 24, 2011
Invited as a Guest Speaker on BBC Tees Radio Breakfast Show with Ali Brownlee, in response to 'NHS banning maternal request' story.
August 23, 2011
Contacted BBC Complaints and The One Show programme makers in response to a live chat on the subject of maternal request cesareans, during which its guest Dr Sarah Jarvis imparted inaccurate and one-sided information to viewers without being challenged.
August 23, 2011
Invited as a Guest Speaker on BBC WM's Radio Breakfast Show with Phil Upton, in response to 'NHS banning maternal request' story.
August 18, 2011
Uploaded new YouTube video: Did You Know? 10 Little-Known Facts in the 'C-Section Versus Vaginal' Birth Debate.
July 16, 2011
The Western Mail newspaper published a very thorough representation on my view on maternal request (online report here).
July 14, 2011
Called into the BBC Vanessa show and invited on to talk about RCOG's proposals on midwife-led care for all low risk women.
June 22, 2011
Submitted Stakeholder Comments for the NICE Caesarean Guideline Update.
June 14, 2011
Submitted Stakeholder Comments for the NICE Antenatal and postnatal mental health Clinical Guideline (CG45).
June 12, 2011
Contacted my local MP, Jeremy Hunt, regarding news that some NHS Trusts are capping payments for cesarean births at 23%, which will endanger the lives of mothers and babies.
May 15, 2011
Registered as a Stakeholder organization for the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Antenatal Care (Review) Guideline.
My chapter, titled "Surgery is a Natural Birth Plan for Many Women: The organization electivecesarean.com", appears in the new book: "The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to do it", and it's being published by DEMETER PRESS in May 2011. You can read more information on the book here.
April 18, 2011
The British Medical Journal published my letter in its print journal and online, titled: Midwife led care may not be appropriate or cost-effective.
April 04, 2011
Submitted a request to RCOG press office to arrange an interview with either Dr Anthony Falconer (President) and/or Professor James Walker (Vice President).
March 25, 2011
Registered as a Stakeholder organization for the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Antenatal & Postnatal Mental Health Guideline review (successful).
March 14, 2011
Attended and spoke at the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) meeting on Maternity at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster. Speakers: Natasha Curry, King's Fund; Professor Jane Sandall, King's College
March 2, 2011
Posted final cesarean book manuscript off to publishers (Prometheus Books) in New York.
February 8, 2011
Finished writing my chapter for inclusion in the book, "The 21st Century Motherhood Movement: Activist Mothers Speak Out on Why We Need to Change the World and How to Do It", edited by Andrea O’Reilly, Associate Professor at the School of Women's Studies, York University, Toronto, Canada, and published by Demeter Press. My chapter, "Surgery is a Natural Birth Plan for Many Women: The organization electivecesarean.com" is the 14th chapter in Section 1 of the book.
January 3, 2011
Submitted article/research titled, "An international internet survey exploring why some women express a preference for caesarean birth" (with co-authors Tina Lavender and Carol Bedwell), to BJOG, an International Journal of Obstetrics and Gyneacology (advised unsuccessful, February 21, 2011, but feedback included some very positive and constructive comments).
December 13, 2010
Attended and spoke at the APPG (All-Party Parliamentary Group) meeting on Maternity at Portcullis House, Houses of Parliament, Westminster. Speakers: Dr Shane Duffy, Consultant OBGYN, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital; Hannah Sherlock, Brighton & Hove Homebirth Support Group; Debbie Chippington Derrick, AIMS
October 4, 2010
Emailed my "Response to the Government White Paper ‘Equality and Excellence: liberating the NHS’, from the organisation ‘electivecesarean.com’" (to
), copying journalists at The Times and the BBC.
October 1, 2010
Advised by the MCWP Chair, Gail Werkmeister, that electivecesarean.com cannot be accepted as a member (because it disagrees with the MCWP's revised Statement of Purpose, which has changed since my original application to the MCWP was made).
September 15, 2010
Lancet Ombudsman upheld my complaint of June 28, 2010, and wrote that he would ask The Lancet to: "*Review their process of peer review, *Consider whether all reasonable (ie not libellous etc) comments on an article could be put up on their website and linked to the article in question, and *Have another statistician look at this particular paper and proceed accordingly."
August 8, 2010
Requested permission to attend a Department of Health workshop in London (along with other user representatives from stakeholder groups) to discuss the proposals set out in the NHS White Paper and consultation documents, and how they relate to maternity. August 9, 2010: advised space in the meeting room was limited but could I please provide 6 bullet points with my views. November 11, 2010: advised that only groups with an interest in the organisation of maternity services rather than clinical choices were invited.
July 8, 2010
Received email confirming that the NICE Caesarean Guideline Update WILL include maternal request in its Final Scope. A link was also provided to an online document that contains the response and evidence submitted by electivecesarean.com in support of its argument that maternal request should not be excluded. You can read the evidence I submitted here.
June 28, 2010
Submitted a formal complaint to The Lancet Ombudsman about its peer review and subsequent publication of 'Method of delivery and pregnancy outcomes in Asia: the WHO global survey on maternal and perinatal health 2007-08. The Lancet, Volume 375, Issue 9713, Pages 490 - 499, 6 February 2010' (successful - see September 15, 2010).
June 17, 2010
Attended MCWP (Maternity Care Working Party) meeting on Maternity in London. Reiterated concerns about limitations of the group's focus and purpose, and when the suggestion was made by one MCWP member that I make a future presentation on the legitimacy of choosing cesarean birth, I accepted (although this did not appear in the Minutes and was not taken any further).
June 12, 2010
Blogged response to Health Secretary Andrew Lansley's speech on maternity care and forwarded it to Jeremy Hunt MP (other email correspondence continued through April 7, May 17, May 19 and June 15).
March 24, 2010
Applied to NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) to become a member of the Guideline Development Group (GDG), responsible for developing its updated Caesarean Guideline (unsuccessful).
March 5, 2010
Attended MCWP (Maternity Care Working Party) meeting on Maternity in London. Was advised that "Members are expected to be fully in support of this updated purpose": "The Maternity Care Working Party is an independent, multi-disciplinary body that works to promote normality in childbirth and campaigns for high quality, effective and evidence-based maternity care. It highlights the health and social needs of women, their partners and their families and the contribution that woman-centred services, throughout the maternity care pathway, can make to family well-being and the promotion of public health. The MCWP aims to achieve consensus among stakeholders in maternity care."
March 2, 2010
Made a formal complaint via email to the secretary of the APPG on maternity, Sandra Gidley MP, regarding short notice of invitation to the next meeting and more importantly, the change in its statement of purpose to include the words: "works to promote normality in childbirth", which did not appear originally.
January 25, 2010
Attended NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) Scoping Workshop in London, as a Stakeholder, for its Caesarean Guideline Update.
January 13, 2010
Jeremy Hunt MP advised that he is happy to pass my concerns on to the Shadow Health Team for their comments, and will also chase up Ann Keen MP and Chris Butler. Replied immediately with feedback on the Draft Manifesto and Green Paper, plus details of my correspondence with the NCT and Andrew Lansley's office (in regard to cesarean delivery, costs and choice), and a link to my blog on the WHO survey.
January 12, 2010
Blogged response to the newly published World Health Organization survey, ''Method of delivery and pregnancy outcomes in Asia: the WHO global survey on maternal and perinatal health 2007-08, Lumbiganon et al'', heavily criticizing its authors' interpretation of their own cesarean data (on January 26 and 30, Nigel Hawkes of Straight Statistics also criticized the WHO's publication).
December 28, 2009
Published the electivecesarean.com press release (in partnership with Dr. Magnus Murphy, book co-author): "Planned Cesarean Delivery Offers Protection Against Pelvic Floor Disorders".
November 2, 2009
Jeremy Hunt MP advised via email that he has written to both the Chief Executive of NHS Surrey, Chris Butler and Ann Keen MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health Services, asking that they look sympathetically at the concerns I have raised.
October 26, 2009
Published the Coalition for Childbirth Autonomy press release: "WHO Admits: There Is No Evidence For Recommending A 10-15% Caesarean Limit".
October 7, 2009
Wrote the article "WHO Finally Admits - the 'Optimum Rate [of Caesarean Section] Is Unknown' and 'There Is No Empirical Evidence' for Its 1985 Recommendation of 10-15%" (published on the freelibrary.com website) after discovering via the Irish Times that the WHO had updated its obstetric handbook a few months earlier.
MCWP (Maternity Care Working Party) meeting went ahead with no invitation received by electivecesarean.com, despite its request to attend.
September 29, 2009
Submitted the article/research titled, "Women’s Motivations For Choosing Planned Cesarean Delivery", to the journal Acta Obstetricia et Gynecologica Scandinavica. based on information compiled from electivecesarean.com's membership surveys (advised unsuccessful, November 10, 2009).
September 26, 2009
Began email correspondence with my local MP, Jeremy Hunt, informing him of the issues surrounding maternal request cesareans but also the risks involved with efforts to reduce cesarean rates arbitrarily.
Applied to become a member of the MCWP (Maternity Care Working Party), "an independent, multi-disciplinary body that campaigns for improvements in maternity care. It was formed to raise awareness of the public health implications of the rising caesarean rate and highlights the health and social needs of women and their families and the contribution that woman-centred maternity services can make to the promotion of public health. Membership of the Group is open to non-commercial organisations and individuals with an interest in maternity care. The membership is fluid, but representatives of the following organisations are currently involved: RCM, RCOG, RCGP, NCT, RCN, ARM, AIMS, NMC, Baby Lifeline, IMA, BirthChoice UK, Birth Crisis Network, the Midwifery Trust, NPEU, NHS Confederation, NMC, NSPCC, IHM and Care Quality Commission."
Applied to NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) for electivecesarean.com to become a Stakeholder for its Caesarean Guideline Update (successful).
March 27-29, 2009
Invited as speaker at a seminar during the 'Controversies in Childbirth' Conference in Texas, USA. The seminar topic was: 'Is there any benefit to low c-section rates?', and I flew to Texas to give a powerpoint presentation while seven months pregnant with our second child. Encouragingly, the feedback from the audience and the conference organisers was extremely positive.
October 29, 2008
Published the Coalition for Childbirth Autonomy press release: "Birth Group, CCA, Calls on WHO to Re-examine 'Outdated and Unsafe' 10-15% Recommended Cesarean Rate".
Co-founded the Coalition for Childbirth Autonomy with three other birth groups - Birth Trauma Canada, c-sections.org and the Birth Trauma Association.
October 2, 2008
Submitted the article/research titled, "Reasons Cited by Women Choosing Planned Cesarean Delivery", to the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, based on information compiled from electivecesarean.com's membership surveys (advised unsuccessful, January 12, 2009 but with some very positive and constructive comments from reviewers).
September 9, 2008
Submitted the article titled, "The cost of prophylactic caesarean delivery on maternal request in England", to the Journal of Health Economics (advised unsuccessful, September 17, 2008).
June 18, 2008
Submitted the article titled, ""The cost of prophylactic caesarean delivery on maternal request in England", to the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (advised unsuccessful, September 5, 2008).
March 27-29, 2006
Attended the NIH State-of-the-Science Conference: Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request in Bethesda, Maryland, USA. Spoke publicly as an audience member and as a journalist, and was able to submit evidence that was considered by the panel before it
completed writing its final conference statement.