Many of you read and supported me in my “Medicalization of my Natural Birth“. Thanks, yo.
I never had to face a Caesarean section. Not with these birthin’ hips. I know, and am even related to, women who have. It’s a tough recovery for many, both physically and emotionally.
Now there’s a movement to make the C-section more “natural”. Vaginal birthing has had a natural movement over the last 20 years, and one doctor wants the C-section to have the same.
British professor Nicholas M. Fisk wants to encourage the same bonding that is present in many natural vaginal births in his C-section patients. He thinks C-sections should be more “woman-centered.”
But with 1/3 of all American labors ending in surgery (in the UK the C-section rate is 24 percent), is this something we should encourage? Do we really want him to soothe us into the decision of a C-section?! “There, there. At least it’ll be natural.”
What’s next…is he going to “naturalize” the vasectomy?!
Here’s what happens in this OB’s “natural” C-section.
- Just as in a sterile C-section, the curtain goes up so the parents don’t see the incision and so the environment is clean.
- OB slows “delivering” the baby so mama’s contractions can clear baby’s lungs, “just as happens at a vaginal delivery”.
- The baby’s shoulders are delivered, and then the proud parents are allowed to watch the rest of the delivery.
- Baby is placed on mamas chest for bonding.
Don’t get me wrong; I know that some C-sections are honestly medically necessary. But I also know women who have been bullied into it. They feel like if the doctor says it’s so, it must be.
But there are WAY too many C-sections up in here. 2007 marked the 11th straight year for an increase in the procedure. And this rate has climbed 50 percent in the last decade. The number of vaginal births after C-section (VBAC) are on the decline, further increasing the C-section rate. The World Health Organization wants a C-section rate of no higher than 15 percent anywhere in the world. Considering that half of all C-sections are elective, I’d say we could trim down a bit!
I get that medical professionals are scared. We’re in an era of litigation. But please, can more doctors stand up and say bravely,
I’m ready to stop practicing defensive medicine. I’m ready to let women experience natural labor without interventions unless absolutely necessary.
I know this is a tricky topic. Women are all across the spectrum of guilt and satisfaction and delight with their birth experiences overall, especially when they give birth by surgery.
If this “natural” C-section is going to empower women and families for whom the surgery is actually necessary, that is fantastic. I’m all for bonding from the first and making each birth experience the best it can be.
But if this is a ploy by the medical community to dress up a wolf in tie-dye and Kumbaya songs, no thanks. If we want to make the C-section more like a vaginal delivery, might we move toward the actual natural birth for the many strong mamas out there?
Image: Focus by Kelly Sue on Flickr under a CC License.