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Why Are People Against Elective C-Sections??

post #1 of 201
Thread Starter 
Okay, I know I am on MDC. And *I* wouldn't have a C-Section by choice, personally.

But why such a backlash against them? Isn't it in the general realm of "A Woman's Right to Choose" and all that? And shouldn't a person be able to have the birth experience THEY want, just as there are Mama's here who choose to have an unassisted birth.

I am all for a person having a natural and/or unassisted birth, but really, there is risk involved in ANY method of childbirth.

So why are people so against a mother having an elective c-section if she wishes to do so?
post #2 of 201
I think that many women choosing elective C/S are NOT fully informed of the risks, including the risks to future pregnancies.
post #3 of 201
It raises health care costs for everybody. Especially if it leads to babies who aren't ready to be born.


(Note - this comment is about the question asked, not about your own personal c-section or premature baby.)
post #4 of 201
It affects our country's health as a whole, it costs us unnecessary money both through the procedure and the higher negative health outcomes for mother and baby. The increase in popularity of the procedure puts more women at risk to be pushed into Csections when they do not need or possible even when they do not want them. SO you get hospitals with 40-50% Csection rates and higher...it leads to not being able to find hospitals with acceptable rates.

There are also arguments that the woman does get a choice but the child is put at greater risk....which is not an argument I am sure I want to get into since it would probably stray into topics not allowed....

I guess there's a lot of reasons. I also believe the WHO has a large discussion on this, which I will try and locate.
post #5 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I think that many women choosing elective C/S are NOT fully informed of the risks, including the risks to future pregnancies.


But what if someone is informed. And does not want anymore kids? I mean, really, there is some risk involved, but still, the number of deaths is not very high.

I'm honestly not trying to be a pain with this. I'm just genuinely curious why many people are pro "woman's choice" but when it comes to this they sort of backtrack on that thinking.
post #6 of 201
It's not just death rates...it's increased health problems for the mother, increased NICU time for the baby, increased respitory distress/illness for the baby, etc etcetc...and the procedure is quite costly in and of itself, risks aside.

Then there is the fact that it can hinder breastfeeding intiation/ability to breastfeed, which leads to more health problems...etc...
post #7 of 201
some examples:

Quote:
Cesarean carries twice the risk of injury and death for both mother and baby. Women with cesarean experience double the rate of hysterectomy, blood transfusion, admission to intensive care, prolonged hospital stay and death, compared to mother who delivered vaginally. Babies born by cesarean were 45 percent more likely to be in the neonatal intensive care unit for 7 days and 41-82 percent more likely to die than babies born vaginally.
Villar, et al., British Medical Journal, 2007;335:1025, 17 November

Quote:
Rehospitalizations in the first 30 days after giving birth were 2.3 times more likely in planned cesarean than with planned vaginal births. The leading causes of rehospitalization after a planned cesarean were wound complications and infection. Hospital costs were 76 percent higher for women with planned cesarean, and hospital stays were 77 percent longer.
Declercq, et al. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2007 Mar; 109(3):669-77
post #8 of 201
I'm not against elective c-sections in certain cases (previous history of stillbirth, for one). What I'm against is the lack of information given to women about the risks to the baby regarding lung development, and the higher mortality rates for both mother and child. I'm against babies being born prematurely for no reason. I believe most women who make this choice are not fully informed by their OBs, as they should be, because many OBs like, or even prefer, c-sections to vaginal births, which are more risky for them malpractice-wise.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7137945.stm
post #9 of 201
The immediate risks to an infant are increased, but, additionally, there are long term implications. The mother is going to be on more medication, which, in turn, can impact bfing. Also, there is also a belief within the medical/scientific field that children born via c/s have an increased risk of allergies. It has something to do with the flora in the birth canal. I have three children. My oldest was born vaginally, no allergies. My second was born via emergency c/s after pushing for more than two hours, so my guess is he was at least somewhat exposed to the flora--no allergies. My youngest was delivered via planned c/s due to complications discovered during the previous emergency c/s. At five years old, he has more than 20 known food allergies. Connection? I don't know.
post #10 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
I think that many women choosing elective C/S are NOT fully informed of the risks, including the risks to future pregnancies.
Yup, this. They think it's an easy way out, when really, it's much harder on the body and comes with many risks for the mother and baby. There was a study done recently that showed elective c-sections lead to more breathing problems. Elective c-sections seem to be scheduled BEFORE the due date, which can be two weeks off, so it's a lot of babies being born too early.
post #11 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by fek&fuzz View Post
It raises health care costs for everybody. Especially if it leads to babies who aren't ready to be born.


(Note - this comment is about the question asked, not about your own personal c-section or premature baby.)
This.

I have only a hint of a "problem" with it if the woman is paying for it out of pocket.

But if she's using insurance, or government health care then it's not a wise choice. Those don't cover elective procedures as a rule (cosmetic etc) so why would they cover an elective C-section?

-Angela
post #12 of 201
Are you asking just about the "too posh to push" c-section or do you include women who choose a repeat c-section or who had a traumatic vaginal birth and request a c-section?

In general "elective" c-sections are normalizing surgical birth. Your body is meant to pass a baby out of your vagina. Why is there even a push for elective c-sections? This blows my mind.

As the demand and push for elective c-sections go up (therefore normalizing it as a method of birth), it makes it more difficult for women to have a normal vaginal birth. And forget VBAC. Since c-sections are so common, women desiring a vaginal birth after a c-section are seen as radical. They are told they are putting themselves and their babies at risk. But major abdominal surgery is okay. Hmmm..... Go figure.

True choice in birth is one thing. Choosing a c-section is becoming much easier than choosing vaginal birth.
post #13 of 201
i find it strange that any woman would want to have her abdomen cut open through all the muscle layers on a completely voluntary basis providing that she or her baby were not in need of it as a lifesaving measure. i personally would not want to experience a far longer recovery, not be able to hold my baby right after birth (i'm talking seconds of the baby coming out), not be able to carry anything heavier than my baby for 6+ weeks, etc. did i mention how sketched out i'd be about the epidural? i mean, someone hitting into my epidural space is pretty risky- you have to sign a waiver and everything. same with the c-section. i guess i'm against major elective surgery in general, for whid i'd be signing a paper acknowleging possible complications up to and including paralysis or death. that and the fact that it drives up healthcare costs for everyone else (and to think there are already people out there who can't afford insurance- i don't know how they will with the ever increasing c-section rate as it is)
post #14 of 201
My basic philosophy is that I support whatever choices an informed woman makes for her birthing. That being said, I have a problem with the trend towards spurious or cosmetic surgical births.

For me, it's really a feminist issue. I believe firmly that most women who would choose an elective c/s are NOT completely informed, because I find it impossible to believe that if they WERE completely informed, they would make this choice. It is just too fundamentally illogical to choose surgery if you don't *have* to - it is a very rare person who, in posession of all the facts, would deliberately choose what is so obviously a riskier path. So. I believe that *most* women who want c/s "instead" have been sold a bill of goods through the medicalized birth model that our culture embraces, and each time a woman makes that choice it feeds into our cultural acceptance of medicalized birth as the "norm". And the stronger the medical model of birth becomes entrenched, the harder it becomes for those of us who *do* know, to opt out. So, bottom line, I believe that the trend towards elective c/s sets precedents that limit my choices and the future birthing choices of my daughter, sister, nieces, friends...

Now. If a woman is TRULY informed, and still chooses elective c/s? For sure - her body, her choice. But I think it's a very rare informed woman who would make that choice.
post #15 of 201

My Own Story

I had an elective c-section for my second child. I was VERY much informed of the risks and possible complications, and pressured by my Ob/Gyn NOT to have one. After explaining myself and signing a bunch of waivers, I was in business.

In my particular case, things worked out better for everyone involved. My first birth was traumatic. My dd tore through my body to the extent that moments after she was born she was handed to my dh and I was rushed off to have emergency repair surgery under general anesthesia. I didn't hold her. I didn't breastfeed her. Dh gave her a bottle. I don't remember anything from the first day or so, and I was on a great deal of medication (morphine, I think). Our nursing relationship (either as a result of this or a totally separate issue) was never really strong. I couldn't stand without assistance for two weeks. My body wasn't right for months afterward.

Before I became pregnant again, I made certain that my doctors would perform a c-section. If they had said no, I probably would not have had my ds.

Ds's birth: I knew exactly when it would occur, which eliminated any stress of childcare for dd. My parents live a couple of hours away and there was nobody else I felt confident watching dd if I were to go into labor in the middle of the night or something. A childhood friend of mine is a labor and delivery nurse at the hospital, and she specifically planned to be there to work with me. After ds was born, he was brought to me to touch and examine before visiting with dh for a few minutes as I had my tubes tied (since my abdomen was already going to be open and all, it made more sense to us than scheduling a separate surgery) and was sewn up. Ten minutes after ds was born, we were cuddled in bed together, breastfeeding. The next day I was up and showering, a feat it took me two weeks to accomplish after my first birth.

In terms of recovery time, things were better for me. In terms of stress, things were better for all involved. After having dd, dh and my mom really thought I might die, as the blood loss and the doctors' reactions were so dramatic. In terms of medical costs, I would imagine things were similar, as my first birth ended in emergency surgery, as opposed to planned surgery the second time around, plus I avoided an additional surgery by having a tubal ligation at the same time as the c-section.

An elective c-section is by no means right for everyone, and I made the decision the first time around that it was not right for me. But for my second pregnancy.... I wouldn't have had it any other way.
post #16 of 201
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlm194 View Post


As the demand and push for elective c-sections go up (therefore normalizing it as a method of birth), it makes it more difficult for women to have a normal vaginal birth. And forget VBAC. Since c-sections are so common, women desiring a vaginal birth after a c-section are seen as radical. They are told they are putting themselves and their babies at risk. But major abdominal surgery is okay. Hmmm..... Go figure.
That. I believe elective c-s make it harder for other women to have vaginal births. As the c-s rate gets higher and higher, soon vaginal birth won't be the norm, and it will be difficult to find a provider willing to "allow" it.

Quote:
believe that *most* women who want c/s "instead" have been sold a bill of goods through the medicalized birth model that our culture embraces
That too, totally. Most women I know who had c-s think it was the greatest thing since the invention of electricity. To hear them, you'd think it was a day at the beach, and that vaginal birth is for women who want to get "stretched out."
post #17 of 201
Quote:
I think that many women choosing elective C/S are NOT fully informed of the risks, including the risks to future pregnancies.
Great answers everyone! I for one, do not object to any womans 100% fully informed choice, but it is all but impossible to make a fully informed, unbiased choice in a culture that asserts that Surgical/Interventive deliveries are WAY safer than they are and is woefully undereducated about the physiology of natural birth.
post #18 of 201
what elective c-sections have shown us is that C-sections are not as life saving as we use to think-- there is a higher infant mortality rate associated with term elective c-sections--
there is also a maternal mortality rate associated with c-section-- I almost think that we need bookies to be advisors someone who can number crunch and give you understandable odds -- I also think that there is a bias that has to do with personal interest on the physicians part to guide a patient to decide that surgery is best- this puts an OB in the position of doing what is perceived as the most life saving care and protects them from law suits even if what it is,is inferior more dangerous care--
post #19 of 201
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlm194 View Post

Your body is meant to pass a baby out of your vagina.
.

I know what you're saying, but our bodies are meant to do a lot of things that medicine has changed over the last century. Some could argue some of this is good, and some not so much.
post #20 of 201
1. If other women have the right to choose elective c-sections then I should have the right to choose the type of birth I want. I want an HBAC next time, but because of Florida law and the birthing climate in my area, I will have to travel 3 hours and rent a house in order to do so. If you are going to support a woman's right to choose, we should be supporting EVERY woman's right to choose.

2. I am concerned that women choosing an elective c-section are not informed of all the risks, and that they have doctors pushing them into the decision. I know that I was pushed into an unwanted c-section and I can imagine that there are doctors out there telling women that a c-section is safer than vaginal for them and their baby (which is simply not true).

3. And like others have said that the rising c-section rate will affect us all and the birth choices available to us.
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