Lose Baby Weight shares some information about elective caesareans.
Elective caesareans are on the rise. Why? There is the common saying “too posh to push”. The celebrities are doing it so why can’t I? Women who have had previous vaginal births also question women as to why they would elect to have a Caesar.
Caesareans certainly have their place. Reasons why women have Caesars can include positioning of the baby e.g. breech or transverse, multiple pregnancy, medical illness, large baby, previous traumatic birth or large vaginal tear and mostly emergency caesareans.
Is it the desire to choose the date, to be in control or is it simply fear of vaginal childbirth? What makes a woman scared of childbirth? Is it pain? Is it the fear of labour? Is it the fear of “breaking waters on the supermarket floor”, or not making it to hospital? Women should not have to fear childbirth for any reason although it is normal to have concerns as it’s not everyday we give birth. That being said, birthing a baby is the most amazing empowering experience that a woman can go through.
Unfortunately not every woman can say she is empowered by the experience. Complications arising from childbirth can scare some women enough not to go back. You have all heard the expression, ‘You forget when you are holding that special little person.’ You don’t forget but the overwhelming joy and love you have for this little person who has just entered the world is enough to suppress the experience.
Both vaginal birth and caesareans have risks and advantages. When considering elective caesareans women need to be fully informed of the choices they make by researching what is right for them personally. It does come down to the woman’s right to choose. She knows her body and her mind and knows what’s best for her.
The World Health Organisation recommends that women should only have caesarean sections for medical reasons. Women having elective caesareans may not realise that having this type of surgery is actually major surgery. The recovery is also not minor. A woman’s body prepares itself for nine months to give birth and the outcome of the baby is also dependant on the hormone surges that come with labour.
A study by the World Health Organisation had the following key study outcomes
- 25.7% of all births were by caesarean section
- In 23 countries, the rates of caesarean delivery without medical indication ranged between 0.01% and 2.10%
- The main group of women choosing elective caesareans were married and well educated.
- There was a higher percentage of women choosing a caesarean after vaginally delivering a stillborn baby or a baby that was low birth weight
- They found that women who had had a previous vaginal birth had more adverse outcomes and had a higher incidence of postnatal depression (PND) related to longer recovery post caesarean.
Vaginal Birth shouldn’t cause fears so great in women they avoid it all together. Women’s bodies are designed to give birth vaginally. If it is the fear of pain there are options to limit pain. See our previous article on “Pain Relief Options”. If you had a previous traumatic birth the odds are this will not happen again. If you had a forceps or vacuum delivery your birth canal muscles have already stretched and can birth a baby with a little more ease next time around. If you had to be induced for post dates reasons etc. you know now your body can labour so if in theory your labour was long the first time it should be shorter the next time.
Having excellent support can be the difference in a good birthing outcome. If you don’t feel your partner supported you enough ask your mum or a friend to come along. Research different techniques of relaxation and distraction. Recruit a Doula. This can be an excellent option for someone trained in being a birth support person.
All this being said Caesareans certainly have their place. Women need to be fully informed about the advantages and disadvantages and speak to their Obstetrician, GP and/or midwife. Being fully informed and including their partner in their decision allows the woman to be empowered into their own birthing experience.
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