What IF C-Section Was Proven Safer Than Natural Birth? - Page 5 - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-06-2014, 12:52 PM
 
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Well, obviously, if you aren't specifically looking for something and systematically documenting it, you aren't going to know the whole story. If people don't view women's incontinence, pelvic floor disorders, and sexual dysfunction as problems of significance (and historically they haven't) then any analysis they offer is not going to give the full picture.

 

There are studies saying that it's all a wash, but they're not that convincing. If you look at the urogynecology literature you'll find information on specific problems, many of which are unique to or especially common after vaginal birth. 

 

And speaking for relatively young women who have had these problems directly after childbirth, it's no consolation to read "we'll all be in the same boat at 50" when you're only in your 20s or 30s and you're dealing with these problems now. It's frustrating to hear claims like these when you know that your injuries (and many other women's) were directly caused by vaginal birth, but your own suffering and loss and subsequent surgeries are ignored by people who don't seem to want women to know the truth about what can happen. 

 

I'm not suggesting that all women have CS to avoid pfd, but I think they should be given real information about possible risks of both CS and VB and allowed to make an informed choice.

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Old 01-06-2014, 02:45 PM
 
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Well I just had a C/S for fetal indication: no one told me beforehand that if I yk, try to USE my uterus again, or don't switch to a really effective BC like IUD or Vasectomy (which I find morally unacceptable) I am at a greater risk of *actual death* than I would have been after another vaginal delivery. (From Placenta Accreta, which carries an up to 7% mortality rate).

It was NBD, because I did it to reduce my child's risk of *actual death* during the birth process. But I don't think it is necessarily wrong that we Priveledge mortality over risks like lowered continence (which is not necessarily associated with lowered sexual function).

And I don't think that the problem of less than informed consent is unique to Vaginal Birth.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:02 AM
 
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I don't want to have a one-upmanship contest with you about risk. Frankly, nothing in pregnancy and childbirth is risk-free. Don't you think women should be well-informed about significant risks though? Is there are reason for emphasizing one set of risks and minimizing another?

 

I'd never dismiss the risks of CS. They are real and important to know about. So are the risks of VB, and I think unfortunately they are not often accurately and comprehensively acknowledged. Women who want to discuss the downsides and risks of VB face a great deal of hostile denial from other women, and I think that's a terrible shame. 

 

You faced a certain set of risks with your CS and with future pregnancies, if you choose to have them. I think everyone acknowledges that. However, VB presents a separate set of risks that women have a right to know about. If you think we should only be concerned about mortality, please consider that one in five women in the US will have pelvic floor repair surgery during her lifetime. My own surgery was several hours long under general anesthesia. It will probably not be my last pelvic surgery, unfortunately. These are significant, mortality-level risks and they are usually not taken into consideration when discussing CS vs. VB

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Old 01-07-2014, 11:24 AM
 
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I will just say that future pregnancy is not always a choice. Getting sterilized or an IUD is a choice, pregnancy is what can happen in marriage/partnership if you do not chose to use these methods. Subtle, but different.

Also even with universal Cesarean, not every pelvic floor surgery would be prevented. 1 in 5 women don't have pelvic repair surgery because of birth related injuries. Pelvic floor repair is something many women require simply from the aging process. I appreciate your point that is has a mortality rate, that is worth considering, however that mortality rate cannot be directly applied to vaginal birth.
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:56 AM
 
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How is it one poster says "women should be complete information on the risks and benefits of both VB and CS..." and another poster reads "CS for everyone!"?

 

Dinah is right that not every case of pelvic floor dysfunction would be prevented by cesarean - some women might still need pelvic floor surgery at some later point in time.  However, there are quite a few women who deal with pelvic floor problems at a young age who would be spared from dealing with them for a long time had they had a CS instead of a VB.  Many women given this information might still choose VB - and that would be their perogative, and at least they wouldn't feel as though the consequence (PFD) was a result of being kept in the dark about the risk.

 

There's a myriad of other risks too and the choice isn't just about pelvic floor disorders.  Things like shoulder dystocias, birth asphyxia, brachial plexus injuries, cord prolapses, late term fetal demise (post 39 weeks), and just general uncertainty associated with planned vaginal delivery.

 

Everyone wants to be the person whose body performs "as it was meant to" - but the problem is you really don't know if you are that person or if you are just going to be completely unlucky and either yourself or your child is going to pay a very dear price.  Sure, there are some things that make it more likely - but some women just don't feel like gambling with their bodies and those of their children.  They'd rather take a more certain "good outcome" than a very uncertain "great outcome".  That is their perogative.

 

It seems like the culture of natural childbirth holds many women to a standard that they cannot attain and is just as damaging to women as the magazines that portray a generally unattainable ideal of beauty.

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Old 01-07-2014, 12:11 PM
 
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I've never claimed that every pelvic floor surgery could be avoided, or that every woman should be persuaded to choose CS even if that were possible, but certainly you can understand and acknowledge the difference between having a surgery in your 60s or 70s because of age-related changes and having it in your 20s, 30s, or 40s as the direct result of damage from vaginal birth. We're telling women to have VBs in order to avoid the surgical risks associated with CS, but failing to inform them that they may just be shifting the risk to a different kind of surgery later. 

 

In general, in the US, women do have access to family planning methods, often as part of their maternity care. Some women will become pregnant again without explicitly making a choice, sure, but is that any justification for failing to give women a balanced view of the risks of different delivery methods?

 

I will not be having any more children. If I'd been able to choose a CS, I would not have incurred any risks associated with future pregnancies (placenta accrete, etc.), so those issues would not factor into the risk assessment. A woman planning more children will have to weigh things differently and might well find that VB is a better choice for her. All women are not the same. 

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Old 01-07-2014, 01:33 PM
 
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Sure, there are some things that make it more likely - but some women just don't feel like gambling with their bodies and those of their children.

 

Huh? I must be reading you wrong, but it sounds like you are saying that women who choose vaginal birth are gambling with their children's lives.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:58 PM
 
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In reply to Rana Sylvestris;

 

I think you have misunderstood some of the points that I made in my post.

 

I do not deny that there are risks to both CS and VB - but once one is pregnant, one moves into a territory where birth must occur, one way or another - and if deciding to have a demonstrably riskier CS in order to avoid potential pelvic injury, one needs to know what the likely risk of injury during either birth is, because there is risk of on-going debilitation in both scenarios.

 

I notice that one of the only lines of mine not quoted is where I say "It is reasonable that women should have access to such information so that we can make informed decisions." I fully agree that we have a right to information about all risks and options.

 

I believe, however, that because we MUST birth and because CS is still carries quantifiable risks, there may be less information available about birth injury simply because it's possibility is not a good reason to have a CS. I can fully understand how you might feel differently about this if you have experienced significant injury during a VB. I am indeed very aware of how debilitating such injury can be, as a friend of mine suffered a really significant one which had a major impact on her life and which she still finds psychologically traumatising. I also noticed that, after doing the research, she went on to deliver her subsequent babies vaginally none the less.

Also, it would be interesting to know just how much properly researched information exists about birth injury. I believe that the incidence of major, traumatic birth injury from a VB is statistically low, but if that is not the case, then we should know more about this.

We should also know more about the incidence of post-CS complication. I know from health professionals in my area, for example, that the rate of post-op infections with CS is currently very high (I stress that this is knowledge for this area, not necessarily a wide spread phenomena) However, since the infection is generally picked up by visiting nurse midwives once the women have been discharged from hospital, it is not appearing in hospital, or indeed in any, statistics.

 

Also, a CS does not protect you from on-going pelvic floor disorders, as I think others have pointed out. Pregnancy does much of this 'damage'

 

Bottom line is that having babies has an impact on your body. The idea that anyone can blossom forth into beautiful motherhood with their body substantially unchanged is a nonsense. That IS life!

The medical community consider most of what occurs during most births to fit within the parameters of normal. Yes, there is a name for most physical occurrences/outcomes of birth (especially the negative/injurious ones), but that does not make them an anomaly  - they are just stuff that happens.

The general public, in many instances, prefer not to know every possible thing that can go wrong as a result of pregnancy/childbirth. When having a baby, not everyone wants to spend 9 months worrying endlessly about all the things that could happen to them during birth. (Fair enough too) 

It is a version of this 'ostrich' mentality which pushes up CS rates so substantially. Many women who fear birth (for long and myriad cultural reasons that I won't go into here) think - that's OK, I'll have a CS instead. (You can bet your boots these women have not found the info on CS risk more off-putting than the info they have received on the risk of VB)

Ironically, this has helped make CS safer than it used to be, simply because so many OBs are so very well practiced in performing them.

 

But it doesn't eradicate the risks of surgery (simply the anaesthesia alone carries risk)

And I would love to know where you got the idea that WHO stats are 'obsolete and arbitrary'

The evidence is there to support the contention that these guidelines have plenty of 'soft' built into them, and that 15% is an overly generous allowance.

Quite simply, the incidence of CS has moved from being predominantly medical based to being predominantly cultural based.

Anyone who has a good knowledge of normal birth will hear endless stories from people who 'needed' CS on very spurious grounds (not producing a baby in the required 6 hours, for example)

More common is people 'requiring' an induction, which is well-known for causing a chain of intervention as the massive, unnatural contractions deprive baby of its oxygen....often ending in either forceps or CS

A friend of mine was recently 'augmented' in labour with this result. Ironically, if I had been under the same care as her, I would have 'needed' augmenting for 2 of my births, both of which proceeded naturally and normally, with no interference required. While we can never say what might have been, it is fair to say that she was deprived of the opportunity of attempting a VB (which she wanted) for no good reason. And it is also fair to say that she and her baby were probably put at unnecessary  risk

 

Birth will have an impact on our bodies, no matter how we choose to birth. Until very recently in human history, VB was the only option for most women and the risks of VB were well known. Surgical birth requires someone else to step up and take responsibility for another's life - therefore the risks must be quantified and explained. This may be to prevent lawsuits, but it is also because there are risks and it would be considered unethical practice not to alert patients of this.

Maybe these cultural phenomena help explain this idea that CS risk info is more widely available?

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Old 01-07-2014, 03:06 PM
 
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To krst234 - love your reply - lots of food for thought there!

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Old 01-07-2014, 04:09 PM
 
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Fruitfulmomma: I think you are reading her wrong. Her next sentence is:

 

"They'd rather take a more certain "good outcome" than a very uncertain "great outcome"

 

I think her point is that some women would prefer the known and easily quantified set of risks that come with CS to those that come with vaginal birth, in which the outcome can be seen as more variable. It was an attempt to explain why CS might be a good choice for certain women, not a dig at mothers who choose vaginal birth.

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Old 01-07-2014, 04:54 PM
 
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kaatya: Thank you for your thoughtful reply. We seem to have fundamentally different views of the situation, but I appreciate what you are saying.

 

 

It seems that to you, vaginal birth is a sort of natural default and you view CS as inherently riskier and therefore, to be avoided. 

Quote:

 

 

I do not deny that there are risks to both CS and VB - but once one is pregnant, one moves into a territory where birth must occur, one way or another - and if deciding to have a demonstrably riskier CS in order to avoid potential pelvic injury, one needs to know what the likely risk of injury during either birth is, because there is risk of on-going debilitation in both scenarios.

 

 

But is CS actually demonstrably riskier? I don't think you can really say that it is anymore. It's such a complex calculation, and it varies with each individual woman and each pregnancy. We've been talking about pelvic floor damage, but as AwaitingJuno pointed out, there are many other concerns, and when you look at them altogether it becomes difficult to say one method is clearly riskier than another. 

 

 

Quote:
Also, it would be interesting to know just how much properly researched information exists about birth injury. I believe that the incidence of major, traumatic birth injury from a VB is statistically low, but if that is not the case, then we should know more about this.

 

I agree. It's definitely something we should know more about. When women have a 20% lifetime risk of undergoing PFR surgery and VB is a major contributor to the need for them, it's time to do some more research. 

Quote:

 

Also, a CS does not protect you from on-going pelvic floor disorders, as I think others have pointed out. Pregnancy does much of this 'damage'

 

 

Please do not say this. It is completely untrue. Yes, you can have pelvic floor problems without having had a VB. Does that mean that VB does not cause pelvic floor problems? Absolutely not. There are studies that show a clear connection; you personally know of at least one person who sustained an injury this way; and it simply is common sense, particularly when you realize that some types of pelvic floor injury are more or less specific to VB. Normal aging is not going to cause a rectal tear, give you nerve damage, or detach your uterus from its supporting ligaments. I personally find these claims so dismissive--as if normal age-related sagging is on par with a young woman dealing with major pelvic repair surgeries, serious incontinence, sexual damage, etc. 

Quote:

 

The general public, in many instances, prefer not to know every possible thing that can go wrong as a result of pregnancy/childbirth.

 

Well, I do like to know realistically what can go wrong, especially if there are choices I can make to avoid certain outcomes or maximize others. 

Quote:

 

Many women who fear birth (for long and myriad cultural reasons that I won't go into here) think - that's OK, I'll have a CS instead. (You can bet your boots these women have not found the info on CS risk more off-putting than the info they have received on the risk of VB)

 

Why isn't that a valid choice? CS has certain risks; VB has others. 

 

My understanding of the WHO statistic is that it was just a number that was put out without any supporting evidence, and that recent research suggests that higher c-section rates result in better outcomes. Of course, it all depends on who you are studying and what you measure, and there is a lot of room for debate there. The bottom line is that I personally wouldn't want my care being determined by someone being pressured to stay within a rigid guideline.

 

 

Quote:
Birth will have an impact on our bodies, no matter how we choose to birth.

 

No denying this, but I wonder if it isn't time to allow women to choose what kind of impact they are more comfortable with?

Quote:

 

Until very recently in human history, VB was the only option for most women and the risks of VB were well known. Surgical birth requires someone else to step up and take responsibility for another's life - therefore the risks must be quantified and explained. This may be to prevent lawsuits, but it is also because there are risks and it would be considered unethical practice not to alert patients of this.

Maybe these cultural phenomena help explain this idea that CS risk info is more widely available?

 

I think this is a really reasonable statement. I also think that times change, and sometimes it becomes necessary to adapt our practices to the current state of things. VB and CS are both pretty safe, though they offer distinct sets of risks. Maybe it's unethical not to give patients the full story.

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Old 01-07-2014, 06:02 PM
 
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CS increases the risk of Hysterectomy, Hysterectomy lowers the age of Menopause (as does female sterilization) & both are fairly major contributors to pelvic floor dysfunction.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:42 PM
 
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I would still go for the vaginal birth. I'm under no moral obligation to take the least risky path in every situation. If I was buying a car would I pick one with a slightly better turning radius that had a correspondingly slightly smaller risk of tipping? I don't think so. Being a mother is about much more than reducing risk from 0.0001 to 0.0002 - especially during pregnancy which is generally very safe.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:54 PM
 
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I have to wonder if evolutionary design is going to make natural birth more difficult in the next millennia. We are already so far removed from our mammalian cousins in pelvic structure, etc., combined with an increasingly sedentary lifestyle and an obesity epidemic, all of which make natural childbirth more difficult. And what about the case of the brain dead newborn in the news recently? That mother begged for a c-section due to her small frame and was refused. While I realize that may be the exception to the rule, I would agree with some of the other posters, that c-sections have their place, and while women have been birthing naturally for thousands of years, that doesn't mean fetal/maternal death rates have always been low...
Basically, I think any surgical intervention should be about benefit vs. risk and should never be about convenience.
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Old 01-08-2014, 06:08 AM
 
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I really don't see how evolutionary design could ever make women's vaginas obsolete in terms of childbearing. To me the reasons cited for the c-section epidemic of obesity and bigger babies etc... are rationalizations that blame the victim.
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Old 01-08-2014, 02:26 PM
 
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Thanks for your reply, Rana Sylvestris - this is an interesting discussion!

 

I would like to make it really clear that I am not in any way denying that VB can cause serious, painful, on-going pelvic dysfunction, in many different forms.

 

By saying that  "a CS does not protect you from on-going pelvic floor disorders.... Pregnancy does much of this 'damage'" (both of which statements are true) I am in no way denying that a VB can and sometimes does cause serious injury.

I have experienced problems myself that were painful and on-going for a period, but which have ultimately resolved. I know from this experience how 'hidden' this kind of pain often is and how difficult it is to live with. I remember feeling angry and sad that this was one of the many things that no-one ever 'told' me about before I gave birth. I remember feeling like it was something that there was little support for either. My heart goes out to women in this situation and I am sorry that I have not communicated this to you earlier, because I know enough to know it can be a deeply painful and lonely space to be in.

 

I have spent a lot of time over many years now involved in groups which support women who are pregnant or who have young children. I have heard many birth stories and had many discussions about the myriad of ways in which birth changes peoples lives. Over all this time, stories of serious, traumatic birth injuries are rare - so rare that I can think only of the one I shared in the last post, plus one other which I read about in the media after the mother demanded disciplinary action against her caregivers. (Note: the review panel, made up of Drs, midwives and lawyers found the event to be extremely rare and unpredictable. This was not in the US so no law suit was contemplated - this panel were convened solely to examine culpability for the purpose of registration/on-going practise)

Painful and slow healing injuries like my own occasionally are voiced, but still very seldom in my experience. I have come across several incidences of pubis symphysis  disorder which sometimes renders women unable to walk for a time following delivery. Tears are quite commonplace - nasty at the time, but usually not causing on-going pain or problems.

From this, I conclude two possibilities (both of which may be true) - (1) that serious injury from a vaginal birth is a relatively rare occurrence - (2) that injury following vaginal birth is something not much talked of.

 

I do believe that you have raised something really important in bringing this area of birth to everyone's attention. I think there needs to be more help and support for women experiencing this kind of problem, it needs to be more public and thus easier to speak of. It also seems that more research and record keeping would not go amiss. We could use some more information that is readily available.

 

As for where CS sits in all of this, well it may surprise you to know that I am ostensibly pro-choice on this issue! I believe that, as women, it is our duty to support one another's choices in the child-birth arena, simply because we have not walked in each other's shoes and we do not know all the reasons others make the choices they do. I have expected others to respect my choices (natural, home-births) so I should respect their choices likewise.

 

That said, I am always saddened when I hear of women making what I personally consider poor choices for all the wrong reasons. It saddens me when healthy women who are likely to experience a safe, normal birth are denied the opportunity to have this experience due to lack of proper support and information. To me, normal birth (with the right care-givers) is an enormously empowering experience, which optimises all the hormonal balances in our bodies for parenting a new-born, provides optimal gut flora  and blood transfer for our babies and leaves us feeling like super-woman (well, for a while, anyway!) The blueprint for birth is hugely refined, despite many years of the medical profession suggesting that women were poorly designed for it. Turns out, our bodies have been very carefully programmed for this event, and much of the 'can't' has been caused by well-meant interference, rather than by biology.

 

For women who need CS, it is life / health saving and one of the miracles of modern medicine. If women chose CS for what I consider 'wrong' reasons, well that's only sad if they do so out of ignorance, fear and lack of support. As you say, we all need to weigh up the best evidence and make a decision that is right for us.

 

As for the World Health Organisation, I personally know one of their medical advisors and I can assure you that they are not the sort of people who pluck spurious numbers out of the air.

I believe that 15% will be a compromise number, balanced between what might be expected in a normal, healthy birthing population (the vast majority of us in the West) and the challenges presented to modern obstetrics by more women having first babies later in life and by the obesity epidemic, both of which have changed the risk profile in recent times. However, its been a while since I've done the reading on this, so don't quote me on this!

 

Also, when evaluating risk profiles, it is important to be aware of context. More and more women are being told that CS is 'safer' and believe it is so because of improvements in medical care/technology and more experienced surgeons (all of which is probably true) However, what is not being told is that, in many cases, CS is 'safer' simply because the practitioner in question is better trained in surgery that they are in normal birth. This is particularly the case with certain sorts of breech birth, where loss of skills in delivering vaginally have resulted in CS being a safer option, not because surgery is safer per se, but because the medics are untrained in handling this situation via vaginal delivery.

 

I believe that far too many birthing women are being subjected to unnecessary medical intervention in our hospitals precisely because their caregivers are well trained in medical intervention and not well-versed in normal, natural, un-medicated birth. The best-known example of this is electronic fetal monitoring  (EFM)  - practically mandatory in many hospitals for 'safety' (read litigation prevention) purposes. Extensive research has demonstrated that the primary outcome of using EFM is to cause more CS deliveries. It  does not improve outcome statistics (mortality, morbidity, NICU admissions...)

Despite this evidence being widely available for some time now, many, many women are hooked up to these things for the duration of their labours for no medical reason at all. This is a real example of "care being determined by someone being pressured to stay within a rigid guideline."  Frankly, I find it disgraceful.

 

It is medical practice such as this that fuels the 'normal birth, natural birth' fire and vilifies medicalised birth practices in the eyes of so many women.

As any woman who is conversant with genuine natural birth practice will tell you, it is hugely emotionally distressing to see a birth being changed from normal to pathological simply by ignorant (though usually well-intentioned) interference.

Having your birthing wishes (and powerful instincts) undermined in this way can be hugely psychologically damaging and is another way in which many women carry scars from their birth experience going forward. Also, consider this: I believe my own physical birth-injury may have been caused by a practitioner who insisted I adopt a certain position for delivery, despite all my instincts telling me I needed to kneel. Thus, it was not a 'normal' birth that necessarily caused the problem, so much as physiological ignorance/rigid mind-set training on the part of my care-givers. Interference, in other words.

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Old 01-08-2014, 06:26 PM
 
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name="Viola P" url="/community/t/1388046/what-if-c-section-was-proven-safer-than-natural-birth/120#post_17542021"]I really don't see how evolutionary design could ever make women's vaginas obsolete in terms of childbearing. To me the reasons cited for the c-section epidemic of obesity and bigger babies etc... are rationalizations that blame the victim.[/quote]

I wasn't inferring anyone was to blame, or that anyone was a "victim". The only persons being victimized are those women who are being bullied into a birth experience they don't want to have. I don't think c/s should be discounted as a safer birthing choice FOR SOME women and their babies. But yeah, I do think health issues can negatively impact attempting natural birth FOR SOME women, and living in an age of convenience contributes to that, because we are not obligated to use our bodies in the same way that we did even a hundred years ago, so we're a bit out of practice as a species.
I didn't mean that the vaginal canal is going to become obsolete. I was referring to pelvic design and skeletal structure as a whole, as well as muscle tone. Primates and other mammals live their whole lives practically in "ready-to-birth" positions. As we've as a species developed the
ability to stand erect and walk on two legs instead of four, we've lost some of that birth-friendly design. Here's an interesting article on the subject:
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2006/07/bipedal-body/ackerman-text
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:17 PM
 
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Again, I really don't see how evolutionary design could make women's pelvis' ineffective for childbearing. The fact that an article in an otherwise reputable magazine would suggest otherwise speaks to the strength of our cultural notions about human female biology. Countless articles over many years have made arguments that women's ability to birth is somehow limited and nature made a mistake. This is what has always been used to justify violence against women in the obstetrics. I'm thinking here about twilight sleep and the "science" used to rationalize that. There was even a time in history where woman were manually masturbated by doctors who thought that would fix their hysteria. And only a year or two ago it came out that medical students in the US were performing pelvic exams on women who were at hospital under general anesthetic for things that had nothing to do with their genitals. All of this dogma about natures mistake with women is just one piece if a long and lengthy, and some would say biblically rooted, history of finding the female body to be broken, in need if fixing, and a subject of communal property. I do not believe that nature would design any species so it couldn't birth effectively because that makes no sense to me at all. I don't care of whatever scientific journal argues otherwise, ass pomp doctors have no doubt said stupider sh*t in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:22 PM
 
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Though I would hesitate to ever call myself a "choice feminist", I do think that when it comes to giving birth the woman should be able to choose what she thinks is best for her, and if that means elective c-section it should be respected. And of course c-sections save lives but unfortunately it would appear that they are also taking lives as the maternal mortality rate in the US has climbed up right alongside the c-section rate.
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Old 01-08-2014, 08:51 PM
 
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I did not read through this whole thread so forgive me if I am repeating anything.
To me, even if something in the medical world is proven safe and effective today, they're bound to change their minds tomorrow.
Just like when Dr.s recommended smoking cigarettes and even certain brands were more highly recommended among the medical field. Now we know that smoking cigarettes causes all kinds if health problems and is no longer recommended.
Point is, today's lie was yesterday's truth.

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Old 01-09-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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I really appreciate your thoughtful and compassionate response, kaatya. Having an injury from VB can be so isolating, embarrassing, and depressing. It's rare to have anyone acknowledge it or offer support, so it's very meaningful to me that you took the time to do so. I agree that it's something people just don't talk about.

 

No one ever mentioned such a thing to me when I was pregnant and it certainly wasn't mentioned in any of the many books I read or the class I took in order to "educate myself" as everyone seems to advocate. Sadly, I've found that it's not that uncommon at all; most people just suffer in silence. 

 

Thank you for supporting other women in their choices, even if they differ from what you would want. I wish you weren't saddened by their choices though. Maybe those choices are the right ones for them and thus have the potential to result in the same feelings of empowerment and energy for taking on new motherhood as natural birth does for some women. I read a lot about natural birth, but it really didn't resonate or appeal that much to me. I simply wanted to have a healthy baby in the least traumatic way possible. I think that being able to make a choice that honored my own needs and values would have been just as empowering as a natural birth would be to a woman who valued the things that go along with that. It's interesting how much people can differ. 

 

It's funny you mention EFM. I've heard a lot of women say they dislike it, but I always found the idea of having the baby's well-being monitored throughout labor to be something that I'd find very reassuring and would absolutely want. It probably does raise the intervention rate, but it probably also helps people react quickly when there is distress too. Here is a study: http://download.journals.elsevierhealth.com/pdfs/journals/0002-9378/PIIS0002937811004807.pdf

 

I take your point about it being a shame when a normal healthy labor is unnecessarily interrupted and a mom ends up with a bad experience as a result. I wish every woman could have the kind of birth she would find most empowering. I just feel compelled to point out that not all women want natural birth, and that's ok too. 

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Old 01-09-2014, 10:34 AM
 
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^EFM & hospital techniques for managing vaginal birth also make pelvic floor injury more likely. That was the OP's original point on this thread, that if she had to/chose to have a hospital birth, she would want it to be a section.

I had EFM in my last birth. I thought it would be reassuring, it was in fact, terrifying because I knew enough to know they wouldn't be tolerating the heart rates that kept coming up. It also totally resulted in everyone watching the monitor & not me. I had to stay in bed because they didn't like what the monitor said when I got up. They told me I 'was not in labor' even tho I was contracting regularly, which I don't ever do ahead of labor.

IDK if I paid for my need for reassurance with a Section, because in the end, the baby did have a double true knot. However it would have been impossible for me to have a tolerable labor without pain meds in that situation (forced to stay in bed). A delivery in that situation would have likely resulted in at least a tear.

My prior birth, with hardly any monitoring, total freedom of movement, etc, actually * improved* my sex life & healed some of the over zealous stitching from my first birth . . .
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Old 01-09-2014, 01:27 PM
 
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The EFM is like a coin with 2 sides. During my last birth, due to EFM they were able to detect and effectively treat babys late decels. However as labor progressed and I was attempting to find a comfortable position and not disturb the EFM proved more difficult especially since every time I had a contraction, it was instinctual to (as I'm laying on my side) draw my legs up, almost pulling myself into the fetal position. Well everytime I did that we lost babys heart beat till I released my legs. I was fearful that they would think he was "flat lining" during contractions, so I had to fight what position my instincts were telling me to get into due to the EFM...

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