Monday, September 25, 2006

Here's another reason to do anything you can to avoid a c-section

Babies born via c-section are more likely to die during the first months after birth than babies born vaginally.

While I realize that c-sections are sometimes necessary to save the life of mom or baby, I don't believe that this is the case in almost 30% of all births. Something is terribly wrong with the way birth is treated in this country. So many women are under the (false) impression that the more interventions, the more medical the environment they birth in, the safer it is for them to give birth. "C-section saved my baby's life" is a phrase heard quite often. Well, I don't believe that 30% of babies would die were it not for the c-section. I wish women (and doctors alike) would realize that the more they interfere with the normal birth process, the more likely there are going to be complications that will eventually necessitate c-section. I'm not talking about necessary c-sections, such as with a transverse breech or placenta previa. I'm talking more about not allowing VBACs, automatically dictating c-sections for all breech presentations or multiples, and most of all, c-sections due to fetal distress. The more interventions that are used during labor, the more likely the baby is to go into distress. Use of drugs such as cervidil, cytotec, or pitocin to induce or augment labor increase the risk for fetal distress, yet not many women are clearly made aware of those risks. Artifical rupture of membranes is another common practice that, IMO, can result in fetal distress. Any drugs used during birth also have an effect on the baby. If women got more support in natural labor, their need for drugs would decrease, which would make birth safer for both woman and baby. There's a lot of work still to be done to make birth safer for both mothers and babies, and I don't believe the answer lies in even more interventions. I believe the answer lies in going back to our roots, in supporting natural childbirth, and in encouraging women to choose that route. Education, preparation, and support go a long way in making childbirth a positive, uplifting, empowering experience, WITHOUT the use of drugs. :o)

3 comments:

Leia said...

AMEN!

The thing I hate is how many women are getting to decide ahead of time that they will have a c/s and when they want it. What a crock...drives me batty. Shouldn't the baby be in charge of his/her birth??? ARG.

Doreen said...

Yep, I totally agree that the baby should be in charge. In the majority of cases, a trial of labor won't hurt mom or baby, and can actually improve the outcome for the baby as far as respiratory problems are concerned. Yet many doctors freely offer to schedule the c/s, sometimes as much as 3 weeks before the due date. I can't say I blame the women (in most cases), but I do blame the doctors. I'd be interested to see how many percent of problems infants or moms experience during and after birth are actually caused by medical intervention...

Leia said...

No kidding. Before I was educated, I didn't know any better, but I remember asking my OB when she would induce me if baby wasn't coming out. She said, "if you and baby are healthy and doing fine, we don't even think about it until you are 2 weeks late!" I knew I liked her from that point on!