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Special maternity clinic leads to hike in natural births at Norfolk trust

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A specialist clinic at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital has led to a big increase in the number of women choosing natural childbirth having previously had a caesarean section.

The Birth After Caesarean clinic was set up at the Norwich-based hospital by consultant obstetrician Fran Harlow with two specialist midwives.

The number of women opting for a normal delivery after a C section has gone up from 40% to 68% since the clinic launched in May 2010.

The percentage who went on to have a natural birth has also increased from 64% to 73%.

Ms Harlow said often women were not aware that normal birth was possible after a C section.

“It is important the women are allowed to make informed individual choices and if a woman does want to have another caesarean section then that’s fine,” she said.

“The new clinic does, however, aim to show it is possible for most women to go on to have a normal delivery despite having had one previous child by section.

“There are good reasons why having a caesarean section is necessary but it is major surgery, it can lead to complications, and it’s a more resource intensive way to give birth.”

Women who attend the evening clinic are shown a DVD made by a local film company, which follows a couple through the service to the successful natural birth of their second child.

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