I personally don't approve of purely elective c/s... They're usually done too early for the baby to be really healthy, and I can't imagine that the baby really would like to not have a mom because she died during a non-emergency c/s. Not to mention that it can hinder the nursing relationship, etc. I just personally believe the risks to mom and baby aren't justified. I would never choose one myself, however, I know a couple of people who have, and while I disagree with the reasoning that led to the choice, I can understand.
The biggest factor, in my opinion, is fear. The second biggest, is that the doctors don't support what they'd RATHER have.
Here's the story of one woman who I'm trying to help out:
She's active duty military (Which means she doesn't have a *real* choice of where to give birth, because if she opts for a homebirth, not only does she have to pay for it herself, there's a possibility that if something goes wrong, she can get in HUGE trouble.)
For her first child, her water broke before labor began. Being a good girl, and doing like the doctors told her, she went straight to the hospital, where after 6 hours, they decided that since labor hadn't started, they'd just give her pitocin to "help" her. And then when it took "too long" they cranked it up... and then cranked it up, and then cranked it up. She had nonstop contractions, couldn't get a word in edgewise because she couldn't breathe, and still, instead of TURNING it DOWN/OFF, as any sane person SHOULD do, they cranked it up again 'cause she was still only 6 cm... All this took about 22 hours... after that last hour, they said, "Oh, well, you're not progressing, and it's been 23 hours. We have to give you a C/S NOW or your baby will get infected and die because your water has been broken for 24 hours."
She was exhausted, traumatized, and quite ready to be done, since things just "didn't work". So of course she consented to the c/s.
This time around, she has the same doctor, same hospital, same everything. She is morbidly terrified of going back in there to labor vaginally, since the doc told her probably the exact same thing will happen again. After all, her uterus didn't work last time, why would it work this time?
She originally wanted to try for a VBAC, and still kind of does, but she's terrified that they'll decide to give her pit again, and she just doesn't want to deal with all that trauma this time around, esp since it's the same cursed hospital. So she is trying to decide, and probably will decide for a repeat, with her only real problem with a C/S being that they want to do it at 36.5 to 37 weeks, which she's not exactly comfortable with because it's so early.
Do I understand why she'd opt for it? Completely. They don't call that particular hospital Crippler for no reason, you know. She doesn't have any options other than that one for a hospital birth that's actually covered. And they don't exactly listen to you if you're active duty. (as I know from unfortunate experience when they HELD ME DOWN on a bed until I "consented" to a C/S)
Would I do that? He** no. I'd pay for an HBAC myself. But my mom's a midwife, I have a COMPLETELY different view of birth than this poor girl.
Anyhow... That's why I don't exactly condemn elective C/S, but I still don't exactly approve of them either. If a woman really wants to go through that, well, that's her choice, I guess. I just hope the baby doesn't have too much health problems as a result, 'cause I feel bad for the kid.
I don't know, I guess my problem is that sure, it's her body that they're going to gut like a fish, but it isn't ONLY her health that mom is risking. Without a good reason, I just don't get it. Now, granted, I know that in some cases, it's probably necessary/better (the medically indicated c/s, or someone who was abused, for example, if they can't get the proper help to work through that, they could very well end up with a C/S after all kinds of agonizing crap and be even more traumatized, and that's not good for anyone, either.)
Plus, there's all that stupid political crap that the rest of us have to deal with because so many people view C/S and "normal" and "safe" etc. Blech.