Originally Posted by OnTheFence
I think you find that cesareans are fairly safe. While they may not be as safe as vaginal births, they are for the most part safe for mom and baby. Also I would LOVE to see the sources that a mom who has an elective csectoin has an increased rate of death of 5-700%. Thats complete rubbish and exageration if I ever read one.
1) Rochat R W et al. Maternal mortality in the United States: report from the maternal mortality collaborative. Obstet Gynecol 1988; 103(5): 459-63
2) Schuitemake N et al. Maternal mortality after cesarean in The Netherlands. Acta Obstet Gynecol Scand 1997; 76(4): 332-34
3) vam Ham M A, van Dongen P W, Mulder J. Maternal consequences of cesarean section. A retrospective study of intra-operative and post operative maternal complications of cesarean section during a 10-year period. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 1997; 74(1): 1-6
4) Hall M. H. Commentary: confidential inquiry into maternal death. Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1990; 97:752-3
There's tons of research on the increased risk of c/s. If you go to PubMed and investigate, the preponderance of evidence is overwhelming. Even many of the perceived benefits of c/s (that c/s mothers are less likely to have urinary incontinence later in life, for instance) have been shown to be false.
You keep citing your personal experience, but I protest once again that anecdotal evidence is NOT statistically valid and should not be used by doctors/women in making most surgical decisions. That's like saying, "Well, I was spanked and I turned out fine, so spanking is okay." Or, "My kids did great on formula, so formula is just as good as breastmilk." Or put another way: Most infants who ride in cars without car seats will not be killed or seriously injured in accidents (because most of them will not be in accidents), but because the risk is HIGHER without a car sear, it is legally mandated that all infants be put in them.
|Safer is in the eye of the beholder.
Actually, it's more than that. I agree 100% that a woman may FEEL safer in a hospital than at a homebirth, for instance. But to me "safer" is what has been shown, over time, statistically, by an overwhelming number of reproducable studies and an aggregate of outcomes to be safe. Out-of-hospital birth, for example, has been proven in study after study to be as safe as hospital birth for the majority of low-risk women. C/s has never been proven to be as safe as vaginal birth, but has been proven to have more and more serious risks.
|Can you imagine if I walked into an ER with kidney stones and demanded that a doctor perform surgery on me to remove the stones because I didn't want to endure the pain of passing them? No responsible doctor would do this."
Actually they do, especially for children. You should read up on the new therapies they are performing to break up stones so people can't pass them. Just because you believe its irresponsible doesnt make it so.
I hardly want to get into this (as a person with recurring kidney stones, I do in fact know quite a bit about them), but I actually think it's relevant. For most people, the technology to break up stones is non-invasive (sound waves are used; it's an outpatient procedure). For some people with very severe stones that cannot be passed or broken up, surgery is the best option--this correlates to women who, for medical reasons, will likely fare better with a c-section (placenta previa, toxemia, etc.). For people who have smaller stones that can be easily passed, however, surgery is not performed, particularly because pain medications are effective treatments. It's beyond irresponsible--it's malpractice, plain and simple. My dad has a patient who has chronic, debilitating kidney stones (several times a year)--bad enough that she needs morphine to get through them. But because they are small and can be passed, no doctor in her many years of treatment has suggested surgery. It would simply cause more damage, pain, and difficult recovery, when the stones are passed in a relatively short amount of time.
In general, I agree with Thmom. While I personally believe that primary elective c/s borders on malpractice, I'm not saying they should be made illegal or anything. But it's more than "just a choice." Doctors have a responsibility to REALLY educate their patients on risks of elective surgery, both to themselves and their babies and not paint c/s as an "easier" solution to childbirth (which is what the "too posh to push" idea promotes). This is not likely to happen in a medical system where doctors have all the incentive in the world to perform c/s (it brings in more money, it can be "conveniently" scheduled, it takes less time, hospitals have c/s quotas, it gives doctors more control over births, it's a way of sidestepping malpractice suits, etc.). And women, of course, have a responsibility to REALLY educate themselves. But outside of this board, I rarely see that. When most women I know hear something from their doctors, they believe it. One (admittedly) anecdotal example to make this point: my VERY well educated sister (Ivy League college, business school, runs her own company) was told by her pediatrictian that "there are no real benefits to bfing after 3 months, so if you're having difficulty, you can just stop." So she stopped. Zero research. Zero investigation. Sadly, I think this is pretty typical.