Originally Posted by mamabadger
Given the comments made here, what do the PP's think should be the approach to CS, by "natural childbirth" proponents? I have always assumed that reducing the number of unnecessary CS's, and finding ways to make fewer of them necessary, was a goal we could all agree on. Is working to reduce the number of surgical births indirectly hostile to women who have had CS's?
For that matter, is it even a valuable goal? If a safe vaginal birth is a wonderful, natural, joyful experience; and a safe CS is an equally wonderful, natural, joyful experience, then I have to wonder why I should bother fighting the increase in Cesareans.
I am very much in favor of NCB promoting more positive birthing experiences for all women. I think the focus on reducing c-section is too narrow. When we lump all c-sections into a "bad" category we miss the opportunity to think about necessary change in a more nuanced way.
What should we advocating for? That's a great question to be asking, and those of us who have had c-sections have important perspectives to lend to that discussion.
In the world that I want to advocate for, I see:
1) The reduction of any
procedure or practice that is experienced by the birthing mother as birth rape or as a humiliating violation. This would include some c-sections but would also include violations that occur during vaginal births. This is not just about the procedures themselves, but also about the quality of communication between a woman and her HCP and the degree to which a woman feels that she has choices and is able to exercise them.
2) More broad, holistic education for medical staff (esp. OBs in training) with more emphasis on the range of natural birth experiences so that they recognize a normal birth when they see one and so that c-section isn't the only or primary intervention that they're prepared to use when things truly go astray.
3) Reduction of hospital policies such as mandatory fetal monitoring, insistence that women must lay on their backs to labor, not allowing laboring moms to eat, etc. Reduction of hospital VBAC bans. In order to achieve these reductions, it may be necessary to rethink malpractice law, health insurance policies, etc.
4) Mandatory paid leave for working moms that includes time off prior to the start of labor.
5) Health insurance coverage for home birth.
6) Post-partum care for all moms that includes greater recognition of the complexity of emotional & physical shift that surrounds any birth experience. More art, ritual, storytelling, and community support for women processing the complexity of their experience.
These are the things that would have made a huge difference for me and would have perhaps even prevented my c-section, or at the very least reduced the trauma that I did feel in the weeks and months following it.
If we could achieve these things, I believe the c-section rate would go down, but more importantly, I think that all birthing women would be more empowered. I do not think that it's possible to create a world where no bad things ever happen. In my perfect world, women who have been through hell are honored and respected just as much as women who've had "perfect" birth experiences.