No mother should ever feel guilty about their choice of birth - I know I don't

TV presenter, Denise Van Outen said she still feels "guilty" about having her daughter by caesarean section however Marie Louise McConville believes such comments are nonsense
Marie Louise McConville

You know, sometimes I get really fed up listening to crap.

Does anyone else feel like this?

Now, I'm not talking about some of the terrible music being played on the radio these days or even the racket from the latest phase of roadworks.

Nope, I'm talking about the nonsense some people, especially celebrities, come out with.

Sometimes I just wish they would actually think before they speak, after all, they are in a position where what they say and do can influence so many others.

Of course, that's not always a good thing, in fact, it can be very damaging.

This week, I found myself getting really annoyed with comments made by tv presenter, Denis Van Outen who, at the age of 43, should know better.

A guest on lunchtime chat show, Loose Women, the actress was speaking about having her daughter, Betsy, who is now seven, as the panel was discussing birthing plans.

At this point, Denis confessed that she still feels "guilty" for having an elective caesarean when she was having her daughter.

She added: "'When I got pregnant, I was so stressed. I hold my hands up, I went for an elective caesarean. My mum almost died giving birth and my sister had a terrible birth.

"My best friend had also just had a traumatic birth when the cord around her baby's neck. There's this whole stigma thing about too posh to push".

She continued: "But I was so traumatised. You do still, to this day, feel like people are judging you.

"Even now, if I were to fall pregnant again, I would want to have a natural birth because I still feel guilty".

Well, the comments left me feeling very angry and disappointed, first of all because of her wording and second of all, for the message I felt she was putting across. It also infuriates me that she feels she needs to justify her decision.

I don't understand why there is such a stigma attached to a mother having her child through caesarean section. In fact, I never knew there was an issue until I went into have Abbie.

More than 36 hours after being induced and after having my waters broken and being put on the hormone drip, nothing was happening.

Some time later, when Abbie started to get into distress and her heart rate was falling, the doctor decided an emergency section was in order, which I had no issue with as I just wanted her to be delivered safely.

However, on the way to the theatre, the midwife said to me not to worry, it didn't matter that I wasn't having the baby myself, it was still my baby and I was still giving birth.

It's only now when I think back, I'm horrified by what she said.

All that mattered to me was that our baby would be born safe and well and I did not care one iota how she arrived.

Afterwards, I made the mistake of joining an online forum for new mummys however I soon left, when I seen a comment which read: `Give yourself a cheer if you actually had your baby yourself and didn't have the work done for you".

When I had James, it was an elective section because I had Polyhydramnios and he was a big baby - 11lb 3oz to be exact. I had absolutely no issue with the planned section, which was advised by my doctors.

Maybe I'm the only one but I take great offence at Denise's comments that she feels "guilty" for having a planned section. Such statements do nothing but add to the ridiculous stigma surrounding caesareans.

This myth that if you have a section you are not really giving birth to your child is absolute nonsense. Surely, the priority for any parents-to-be is that their child or children are brought into this worldly as safely as possible and that mum's health is also taken into account.

I think Denise, or anybody for that matter, should think wisely before speaking out about such an important issue in future.

Not every woman finds themselves in the position where a natural labour is possible, be it through complications or circumstances, and it doesn't help when other people - famous or not - feel it is ok to cast shade on this.

It's really no-one's business at the end of the day so maybe it's time we all started minding our own.



If you're planning some chill out time this Summer, either in the garden or around the pool, how do you fancy winning "a riveting, fascinating read" to keep you company?

Described as "completely brilliant", See You In September, by best-selling contemporary novelist, Charity Norman, explores how anyone can be seduced by a disturbing cult.

Cassy blew a collective kiss at her family and said "See you in September".

A throwaway line.

It was supposed to be a short trip, a break in New Zealand before her best friend's wedding. But when Cassy waved goodbye to her parents, they never dreamed that it would be years before they'd see her again.

Having broken up with her boyfriend, Cassy accepts an invitation to stay in an idyllic farming collective.

Overcome by the peace and beauty of the valley and swept up in the charisma of Justin, the community's leader, Cassy becomes convinced that she has to stay.

As Cassy becomes more and more entrenched in the group's rituals and beliefs, her frantic parents fight to bring her home, before Justin's prophesied Last Day can come to pass.

I have five copies of See You In September to give away.

If you fancy winning a copy, simply email your name, address and telephone number – along with the answer to the question below – to

Closing date for entries is Tuesday, August 29, 2017

(Q) What wrote See You In September?

Normal Irish News Rules Apply


What's Hot?

Reboot - I'm delighted to hear that Tubbs and Crockett are making a comeback. Actor Vin Diesel is reportedly to become executive producer of a Miami Vice reboot, joining forces with Fast And The Furious writer Chris Morgan. Love it. Love it. Love it.

New Release - US country icon, Dolly Parton has revealed she is to release her first children's album. `I Believe In You, which is due out in September, will have 14 tunes including the anti-bullying song `Makin' Fun Ain't Funny'.

Companion - It's been revealed that Bradley Walsh, host of The Chase, is to join the cast of the new Dr Who as the first female doctor's new companion. I think he will work well alongside Jodie Whittaker.

So Not!

Declined - EastEnders star, Lacey Turner has revealed she turned down an offer to appear on Strictly Come Dancing. That's a pity, I think she would have been fab.

Loss - Famous faces have continued to express their heartbreak this week following the death of tv legend, Bruce Forsythe, who passed away at the age of 89.

Done - Well, that's it peeps, Summer is pretty much over. With just a few days of August left, it's now time to hunt out the heavy coats, hats and gloves and say hello to Autumn.



The winners of the Newbridge Silverware competition are Niamh McGuckin, from Magherafelt, Eileen McKinney, from Belfast, and Emma

Martin, from Derry


Easy Peasy Recipe

This week’s Easy Peasy Recipe is Autumn Vegetable Soup with cheesy toast

You will need:

1 leek chopped

2 carrots chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 potato, chopped quite small

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 tsp sugar

410g of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

2 cans of chopped tomatoes

3/4 pint of vegetable stock

For the toast

8 slices of baguette

1 garlic clove, cut in half

50g finely grated cheese

To Make:

Put the leek, carrots, potato, chickpeas in a saucepan and add the garlic, rosemary, stock and sugar. Stir and allow to simmer and cover. Cook gently for 15 minutes.

Put the tomatoes into a blender and blitz until smooth. Add the vegetable mixture into the tomato mixture along with the parsley and whizz again until smooth. Heat to serve.

For the toast, rub both sides of the bread with garlic. Grill on one side until golden, turn the bread over, cover with cheese and grill until bubbling.

Serve with hot soup.

Do you have an Easy Peasy recipe you would like to share?

Are you the queen of quiches, magnificent at muffins or can you turn out some nice scones?

If so, then we want to hear from you.

You can send your name, address, contact number and recipe (plus photo if possible) to:

Easy Peasy Recipes,

Marie Louise McConville,

Irish News

113-117 Donegall Street,




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