Cesarean Delivery rates are rising in the United states. Why is that? Well there are many factors at play.
So what is a Cesarean Delivery? A Cesarean, is the delivering of a baby through a surgical incision, through the mother’s abdomen and uterus. According to the U.S. CDC, around 32% of women in the U.S who gave birth in 2015 had a cesarean.
Opinion Alert: Myself personally I’ve had two Cesareans, and one vaginal birth. I’ve mentioned before, in a previous post, that I’d take a vaginal delivery over Cesarean. I wasn’t able to do a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Cesarean) with my last two because of heavy vaginal bleeding and placenta previa (placenta previa is when the placenta covers the cervix). Now let me say in case I unintentionally hurts someone’s feelings, or someone jumps to conclusion(you know, because people do that). If you need/ed a C-Section because of a risk to your life or your baby, I am not against that, nor do I believe that C-Sections aren’t giving birth to your children (which is a really ridiculous notion…). My thoughts are that if not medically necessary, it’s a major surgery with complications, that could be a risk to yourself or your baby, and that some medical practices increases a mother’s risk to have a Cesarean, that not many mothers (or fathers) are aware of. So enough of my opinion lets get to the facts, and stats!
Why C-Sections are increasing?:
Here are some stats/facts that I pulled from National Partnership:
- Low priority of enhancing women’s own abilities to give birth.
- Refusal to offer the informed choice of vaginal birth.
- Casual attitudes about surgery and variation in professional practice style.
- Incentives to practice in a manner that is efficient for providers.
- Limited awareness of harms that are more likely with cesarean section.
- Women’s great trust in their maternity care.
How many of you guys knew what a VBAC was? Were you offered, or informed of this practice? Some are not. In a lot of cases if you had a horizontal Cesarean you are able to have a VBAC. Cesereans also have a longer recovery period than a vaginal one, which also means your hospital stay is a little longer. Some women, also opt out of vaginal birth, because of a traumatic delivery experience. Well here are some more facts before I hit on that point:
Having induced labor puts you at risk for having complications, and your more likely to deliver via C-Section. Pitocin causes fast, and hard contractions which can stress your baby, and I don’t know about you, but I can imagine that being squeezed that hard is stressful. Contrarily because pitocin causes unnatural contractions, that are extremely painful (trust me I know) you’re basically screaming for an epidural. Guess what? Epidural slows down your labor. Your more likely to be in labor for a longer period of time, and now the risk of infection is higher.
Inductions are done without much thought, but I believe that mothers should be more aware of the risks (I know I wasn’t). Forcing your baby to come before they’re ready, can be harmful to you and your baby. Many times due dates can be off by several weeks. They come when they come! Trust your body!
If you had a traumatic birth, and you didn’t have an induction, pitocin to speed up labor, or an epidural, which as we’ve mentioned can cause complications; I do understand. I will say that every birthing story is different with every child (Hence my own two c-sections, and one vaginal birth). I encourage you to try again if you are able too.
In conclusion, understand that I hold nothing against women who decide to get cesarean, but I believe more women should be aware of the risks.
Here are some things you can do to prevent a cesarean:
- Avoid inductions/pitocin if possible
- Try a doula who can be an advocate to your personal beliefs
- Use a Midwife
- Be active during pregnancy, try pregnancy yoga, or a Dancing for Birth Class
- Take a birthing class
- Try different laboring positions instead of the traditional laying back position
If you decide to, or have to deliver C-section I encourage you to research Gentle C-Section and bring it up to your Mid-Wife or OB/GYN. In the end a a successful delivery is what matters!
***More information here on some of the reasons why doctors suggest C-Sections and if it really is a necessary.***
Stay encouraged and be blessed!