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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I jumped over to another pregnancy forum to read birth announcements and stories and was appalled to see that a huge number of them included c-sections, planned and unplanned. Now, I know that a C-section is unavoidable and necessary in some cases, but that rate should not top 10%. It seems to me that more and more mothers are choosing this option and I honestly don't understand it. It is MAJOR surgery. There can be dire consequences to the mother's body decades later (not just those that are immediate). The biggest benefit of a C-section birth (if not medically necessary) is to the doctors and the hospital- not the mother or baby.
Am I missing something? I honestly want to know.
And yes, I would have one if I absolutely had to. No question.
 

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I totally agree, and I ended up with two c-sections.

One was unplanned- I was not progressing and I ended up with an emergency c-section because it was more the 24 hrs after my water broke and I was only moved from 4-6cm in 36 hours period

The second was planned as my OB advised that the same thing would have with my second, but there was also a size issue too ( I had a 10 pounder boy). Despite my doctors recommendation, I did make the planned c-section 6 days after my due date which she was frustrated with, but I wanted to try to go into labour on my own.

I did not take this lightly, and the complications that happen after my second were just horrible (my section opened, infections, bleeding)

I always tell any of my friends not to have the doctors push you into c-sections, as recovery is not great. As you said its a major surgery
 

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I have been interested in the home birth movement since I was born in the 1950s at home.

The number of c-section deliveries has increased over the years with all kinds of excuses as malpractice suits, evolution of the human head, older mothers, high risk mothers, and many other reasons that make no sense. Doctors used to be trained to deliver breech and twins vaginally, but no more. I knew of maybe two moms in my circle of friends who had c/sec deliveries in the early 60s, but after 1970, it seemed to me to explode. My sisters who had children all had c/secs and so did my female cousins. I had my children at home, but I am sure that had I gone to the hospital, I would have had a surgical delivery as my first two were posterior long labors, the second one with a deflexed head.

I recall hearing that a doctor who does a c/sec has a patient for life. ismewilde, what complications later in life are you referring to? I know there are adhesions - a friend of mine said that hers were messed up and she had to have surgery to correct the condition; her youngest is 40 yrs old.

When I as in a mommy'n'me class years ago, I was the only mom that had a non surgical delivery. I lived in a community that had a large medical center where everyone but me went to deliver.
 

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I totally agree, and I ended up with two c-sections.
same here.


At times, I've felt very judged for ending up with C-sections, and some people in the natural living community seem to need to know all the details so they can decide if my C-sections were actually necessary. So, while I agree the rate is too high, I don't like how that awareness affects some people's ability to interact with others.

The number of c-section deliveries has increased over the years with all kinds of excuses as malpractice suits, evolution of the human head, older mothers, high risk mothers, and many other reasons that make no sense.

I had my first child in my 30s after being on hormonal birth control for over decade. In my circle of friends, the kinds of complications I had are much more common among women who had their first child when they were older, and who spent many years on the pill. There really isn't anything "natural" about delaying birth so long after we reach sexual maturity, even though it was the right thing for me and for my life.


I haven't had any long term problems with my scars, and it's been nearly 20 years. I have some adhesions, but I include certain yoga postures in my practice to stretch the area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Linda, I have a number of friends who are into very natural lifestyles and I don't judge them for their C-sections. Some are absolutely necessary. However, I also think that too many parents are also led to believe they are necessary.

One of the complications I recently read about was thinning of the uterus after multiple C-sections, therefore limiting the number of pregnancies a woman can carry.

Others are chronic pelvic pain and bowel obstruction that doesn't present until many years and even decades later.

http://www.hmhb.org/virtual-library/interviews-with-experts/cesarean-section-c-section/
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
From what I am reading, the high rate of c-sections has to do with liability issues. If doctors see any reason whatsoever to give you a C-section they will, because if they don't and any neurological disorder pops up within the first 18 years of life, they could be held accountable for NOT giving you a C-section. Thus, C-sections carry less risk- for the doctors because it shows they DID something as opposed to allowing a woman to labor which would mean that they didn't.
Crazy world we live in.
 

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I don't think we actually know what the "correct" rate of c-sections should be. And I SERIOUSLY don't think we can sit on the internet and judge whose c-section was necessary and whose c-section could have been skipped.

No one argues that my c-section wasn't 100% medically necessary (placenta previa with hemorrhage), but this kind of thing... it just gets me. It's hard. And frankly? It's hard *enough* without feeling like I have to justify the way my daughter came into the world in order for people to think I did okay, in order to assure them that I wasn't the gullible dupe of a liability-obsessed obstetrician, and without feeling like I'm taking a slam at mothers who had c-sections for reasons that were less clear-cut.

My first child's birth wasn't a c-section. I was terrified of c-sections. I actively advocated for myself to avoid a c-section, and the results were... not awesome. I pushed for 5.5 hours, had perineal and labial tears, hemorrhaged (because that's awfully likely when you push for that long), and spiked a fever related to exhaustion that led me to hallucinate. I spent the first few weeks of my son's life feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. I feel like I have pretty strong evidence that I'd have been better off with a c/s, because my c-section recovery did not make me feel that way. Even with the pre-partum hemorrhage that incited it.

(I would, of course, have preferred that my two children arrive by two utterly uncomplicated vaginal deliveries during which I felt no need for medication of any kind, but it turns out no one has the power to arrange that.)

There are a lot of factors that go into c-section rates, and my preference is to validate mothers. If you had a c-section, I presume you made a choice with the best information available to you at the time, including many unquantifiable factors, such as how YOU felt, what YOUR resources were, what YOUR hospital and doctor are like, and what YOUR risk tolerance is.

If you feel you should not have had a c-section, that is your judgment and I support you in reacting to that, but that's kind of a different question.
 

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A woman in a nearby county to me sued a doctor for doing a c/sec as he had a plane to catch. Her standing was that the surgery complicated her future reproductive life and exposed her to other health dangers. She lost the case because she recovered well and her baby was healthy.

I recall reading in the 1970s that the ideal c/sec rate is 8%, while reading my Father's old medical textbooks stated that 5% was the best rate. My figure for 8% is from WHO and Mothering Magazine back in the day. I read now, 40 years later - an entire generation - that 15% is ideal. I have visited many friends in the maternity ward over the years. Many of those medical centers have c/sec rates of over 50% - and I do not know if those are primary c/secs or total delivery counts.

Looking around in my own family, all my sisters and cousins had c/secs; looking back a generation, my mom and aunts all had vaginal births, my mom having 8 at home and 1 in a small community hospital. Going back another generation, my grandmothers and their sisters had vaginal births, mostly at home. Why suddenly in this generation do all the moms in my family suddenly need c/secs except for me? I have done my family tree back to 1698, and having six children was not unusual, most of those born at home.

Let me add that I have two female cousins who are older than me. One had four children in the 60s and the other had three in the 1970s. Yes, they were vaginal births. It seems to me that something happened in the 1970s - malpractice suits? - that pushed the c/sec rate to what it is today around 50%, however that is figured.

What has changed?

In my community, I know there is ONE ob/gyn who will deliver a breech vaginally. In a community of 3 million of very diverse humans, just one doctor. Statistics show that delivering breech babies this way has not improved outcomes.

Why?

My opinion is that the malpractice crisis in the 1970s brought about what we are enduring now with stiff, rigid protocols in medicine and obstetrics. Dr. Robert Mendelsohn, MD wrote about too many c/secs in his 1978 book Confessions of A Medical Heretic and in 1980 in MalePractice. New moms may feel safer with all of the bells and whistles of the modern maternity wards; a new mom who does not want a surgical delivery needs to know that an ob/gyn is a specially trained surgeon. A midwife is probably the best healthcare provider for the healthy young woman who is pregnant and expects a healthy outcome for her and her baby.
 

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A woman in a nearby county to me sued a doctor for doing a c/sec as he had a plane to catch. Her standing was that the surgery complicated her future reproductive life and exposed her to other health dangers. She lost the case because she recovered well and her baby was healthy.
This is why we didn't pursue anything after my disaster of a labor and delivery. Because the attitude of "the only important thing is a healthy baby" and a mom, if people remember to add that in. What is largely ignored is how the process getting to that healthy mom and baby went.

Once we're pregnant, our rights as people are ignored, trampled on and guilted away. We are marginalized, we are all liars (or our partners are) and we're all drug addicts. Everything about our care is "for the good of the baby" because there somehow isn't a PERSON carrying that baby. Just look at what the "standard of care" consists of at most practices: STD tests (because you or your partner is cheating), drug tests (because you have to prove that you're not an addict), etc. After you have the baby, they smear crap in its eyes because you're a slut who probably got an STD while you were pregnant (even if you tested negative at the beginning of the pregnancy) and they have to protect the baby from the blindness that will come from your whoreish ways. You also need to have the newborn vaccinated immediately against Hepatitis because lots of babies are IV drug users or sexually active right at day one. Baby is immediately tested for HIV, because again, mom or dad must be sleeping around and getting all sorts of disease.

Here's a funny fact - they have to get a court order to make a convicted murderer get an HIV test after they assault a guard in prison. But they can take your child away from you in the hospital until they run STD tests after birth. Isn't that nice? More personal rights are given to criminals than are given to you.

Anyway, back to the original topic - the c-section rate in this country is appalling. I had multiple medical professionals tell me that it's just "routine surgery." It's major abdominal surgery with serious, life threatening risks. But if you point that out, you're just being dramatic. Personally, I think that doctors should be held to extremely strict protocols to prove the reason for every c-section they do. There's a reason the numbers spike before holidays and before the weekend - and that's what should be called into question by the ACOG.

If a woman wants a section, that's her right. 150%. If she fully understands the risks to her and her baby, including NICU stays etc, and she wants it, then it's her body and her choice. But too many doctors bully their patients into it and should be made to answer for that.
 

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A woman in a nearby county to me sued a doctor for doing a c/sec as he had a plane to catch. Her standing was that the surgery complicated her future reproductive life and exposed her to other health dangers. She lost the case because she recovered well and her baby was healthy.
I am completely off topic, but this kind of thing happens all the time. With my second c-section, the hospital I gave birth in was trying out a Vaccum bandage (stitchless) (my first section was a staple stitches with no issues). My doctor told me that this was the new type of bandage that they were using at a hospital. It's not a new technology but its effective and it is to speed up recovery. Two days after I gave birth, I woke up to my bandage soaked which was a full torso bandage and blood on clothes and sheets. Overnight the bandage stopped pumping causing my incision to open. All the damage was minor but I paid the high price of not being able to breastfeed my newborn cause I was on antibiotics for infection for several months ( which is something I try to avoid taking unless I am absolutely ill and I was for 3 months) , the time I spent going in and out of the hospital for several weeks after my sons birth, the deep dimple hole from the healing which will never go away, and the fact that I could not pick up my son for 4 weeks. I did talk to several lawyers and because there was no loss of life and we were healthy.....no case. But I feel I was robbed of life here. I have moved on but I am still upset when I think back to those times.


Back on topic- IMO I think that the trend is moving to midwives instead of doctors and home births instead of hospitals like going back to the basics. With my history I would not do a home birth but as I am thinking of having a third I will not let a doctor tell me that I have to have a c-section. It should be my choice and I should not be judged by anyone including my doctor who was frustrated while treating me.

With that being said, I don't think anyone should judge anyone for the choices that they make. A C-section may not be considered "natural" but we make the choices in our own best interest.
 

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Could you have refused to use the new and improved bandage which did not work for you? I am always amazed at what is considered an improvement in medical care and what is not. If it is not proven, the patient should know. Usually, the patient is blamed for the product's shortcomings. The new and improved bandage was certainly not used in your best interests. Patients should know what their choices are.

In 1972 when the US was in the process of de jure recognition of "Red China", pingpong and acupuncture were all over the news. At the same time, I recall a news report about a natural c/sec wherein the mother was anesthetized with acupuncture needles and was delivered surgically; this was reported as a natural delivery because no drugs were used to sedate the mother for the surgery. There have been threads here and there on this forum as to what a natural delivery is. Words are used to convey an idea, but meanings are manipulated.

And obviously, this has not caught on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very good points being made in here.
Again, thus isn't about judgement. And as far as that goes, plenty of people judge mothers who have homebirths. Its an uphill battle and those who do it are very much in the minority.
 

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I do not mean to be judgemental - I am sorry if it is perceived that way. I had mine at home, but I know that had I gone to the hospital, I would have had a c/sec, as that is the way posteriors are usually dealt with since they take a long time.

The midwife who delivered my children went 15 years without transferring a mother during labor. She knew what she could handle, and she did a fabulous job. However, she may have transferred care at some point for a mother who had health problems that presented during pregnancy in those 15 years. Nevertheless, that is quite an accomplishment. Sadly she passed on in 2009, and her great knowledge with her.
 
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I think that @MeepyCat is right when she says that we can't really know what the correct/most appropriate % of births should be c-sections. In many cases, it's a judgement call, and in many of those cases it's erring on the side of being overly cautious, which while that may lead to more c-sections than is strictly necessary, it's hard to blame any particular doctor for making the recommendation nor any particular woman for taking that recommendation. I think the most important thing is to make each woman feel comfortable with the choice that is made, through ensuring that she's properly informed as to the risks of the procedure and the risks of not doing the procedure, and then supporting that choice.
 

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I don't think we actually know what the "correct" rate of c-sections should be. And I SERIOUSLY don't think we can sit on the internet and judge whose c-section was necessary and whose c-section could have been skipped.

No one argues that my c-section wasn't 100% medically necessary (placenta previa with hemorrhage), but this kind of thing... it just gets me. It's hard. And frankly? It's hard *enough* without feeling like I have to justify the way my daughter came into the world in order for people to think I did okay, in order to assure them that I wasn't the gullible dupe of a liability-obsessed obstetrician, and without feeling like I'm taking a slam at mothers who had c-sections for reasons that were less clear-cut.

My first child's birth wasn't a c-section. I was terrified of c-sections. I actively advocated for myself to avoid a c-section, and the results were... not awesome. I pushed for 5.5 hours, had perineal and labial tears, hemorrhaged (because that's awfully likely when you push for that long), and spiked a fever related to exhaustion that led me to hallucinate. I spent the first few weeks of my son's life feeling like I'd been run over by a truck. I feel like I have pretty strong evidence that I'd have been better off with a c/s, because my c-section recovery did not make me feel that way. Even with the pre-partum hemorrhage that incited it.

(I would, of course, have preferred that my two children arrive by two utterly uncomplicated vaginal deliveries during which I felt no need for medication of any kind, but it turns out no one has the power to arrange that.)

There are a lot of factors that go into c-section rates, and my preference is to validate mothers. If you had a c-section, I presume you made a choice with the best information available to you at the time, including many unquantifiable factors, such as how YOU felt, what YOUR resources were, what YOUR hospital and doctor are like, and what YOUR risk tolerance is.

If you feel you should not have had a c-section, that is your judgment and I support you in reacting to that, but that's kind of a different question.
I couldn't agree more! My first birth I did everything possible to avoid a c/s, my second birth the cards didn't fall in my favor. I avoid discussing my c/s here because I've seen too many moms have to justify their birth to other members.

It's not my place to judge the decisions of other - for all we know there may be more factors in play that the mom isn't comfortable sharing with the world. Your birth, your choices. No judgement from me regardless.
 

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Could you have refused to use the new and improved bandage which did not work for you? I am always amazed at what is considered an improvement in medical care and what is not. If it is not proven, the patient should know. Usually, the patient is blamed for the product's shortcomings. The new and improved bandage was certainly not used in your best interests. Patients should know what their choices are.
That's the thing! In my situation, I was told that this was what was being used now and later found out that it was a trial that they were running on a few patients by their OB.
 

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In my opinion, you may have been denied the right to informed consent. If you had been told of the experimental nature of this brand new fangled bandage, maybe you would have been more circumspect about agreeing to its use on you while recuperating from your c/sec. I am not going to tell you what you would have thought at that point in time, but you should have had more information to make a more informed decision for your own recovery.

The first of the Nuremberg Code is "Required is the voluntary, well-informed, understanding consent of the human subject in a full legal capacity."

Quoting the Nuremberg Code is not the usual behavior for a woman in labor, in a hospital bed, hooked up to internal and external monitors, IV's, gloved hands up the birth canal, and on the clock to deliver. Mothers to be have other things on their minds.
 
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I absolutly think it boils down the Drs whod rather be safe than sorry. The malpractic insurance industry knows what events cause the most claims, the death of a baby would most likely result in a claim.So they shape the reccomendations for standard of practice.Managing each event of labor as individual and at the first sign of any distress, move to a csec. So, they feel that whatever keeps the baby alive is best, the mothers emotional or physical health in the longterm takes the backseat in comparison.

I remember reading a midwifes opinion piece about the slippery slope of modern birth techniques and how each intervention leads to more complications and more intervention. Like a domino effect of managing symptom after symptom.

Theres also the midwives who see continuous fetal monitoring as a stand alone risk factor for Drs jumping to a csec. Throughout labor babys heart rate dips and peaks and sometimes its an opinion that its in distress when its actually a normal part of birth.Speaking of majority here not minority where its an absolute clear sign of distress like cord issues cutting of blood/o2.

Imo, this thread has nothing to do with a moms decision to have a csec and everything to do with the observation of a growing trend in developed countries where csec are becoming more and more the norm. It has a lot more to do with who's making the call to have csec and what events are leading up to the need for a csec.No judgement here.

There was a documentry that came out about all of this. I think it was called the business of birth. It brought up many interesting points.
 

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Ricki Lake's Business of Being Born?

I just found this article about obstetrical problems in the third world.
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/o...dern-day-lepers-women-with-fistulas.html?_r=0

I had a good older woman friend who suffered this problem from her first birth in the 1930s. She had another child fiver yrs later and suffered a life of depression; my grandmother was a PhT who helped her with the condition. (My friend told me about her condition herself.) The article says fistulas are not seen any more in the West because we do lots of caesareans. Is this a reason to do so much surgery? I think poor ob/gyn protocol and practice cause this problem.

I have heard doctors tell patients that a c/sec will prevent a bladder prolapse later in life, when I know that pregnancy itself will do that; I have know of older women with NO children, never pregnant who have incontinence, so I know that is not true.

I was told by a doctor that episiotomies prevent urinary incontinence and bladder prolapse. That is simply not true, yet this doctor told a generation of women that he could save them from this problem later in life with an episiotomy. Of course, he was retired by the time they realized he had lied to them.
 

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That's the thing! In my situation, I was told that this was what was being used now and later found out that it was a trial that they were running on a few patients by their OB.
It's the usual... pregnant and/or laboring women used as test subjects without informed consent. It's illegal. Period.

I absolutly think it boils down the Drs whod rather be safe than sorry. The malpractic insurance industry knows what events cause the most claims, the death of a baby would most likely result in a claim.So they shape the reccomendations for standard of practice.Managing each event of labor as individual and at the first sign of any distress, move to a csec. So, they feel that whatever keeps the baby alive is best, the mothers emotional or physical health in the longterm takes the backseat in comparison.
I have a big problem with this general attitude (not that it's your personal stance.) Everything is excused with "it's the best for the baby" completely dismissing that it may cause serious long term problems for the mom. We're guilted into the whole "sacrifice yourself for your baby" routine. But how is it good for the baby to have a mother in poor physical or emotional condition??

My abusive midwife caused me to have a severe panic and anxiety attack in the first 12 hours of my labor. Text books from as far back as the 1800s state that inflicting emotional distress on a laboring woman can delay or completely stop labor. In my case, that delay almost killed me, eventually causing multiple organ failure, pre-e and a section. She was a bitch on a power trip, and I was going to do as she said and who were we to question her?

Even "natural minded" practitioners often have this paternalistic attitude towards pregnant and laboring women. We're just too emotional or too hysterical to understand what's best for us, so they will make that call, regardless of our wishes for our bodies or our babies.
 
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