So….I have passionate feelings about our current c-section rate which seems to be holding strong at 32%. We all know what 32% means, right? Let me spell it out a little bit more…..32% means that 1/3 of ALL babies in the United States are getting surgically cut out of Mom’s. That’s one in every 3 women. Does that seem extreme to you? Because it, MOST DEFINITELY, does to me.
Did you know that in some areas of the United States the c-section rate can be as high as 50-60%? This seems ABSOLUTELY ridiculous to me but Brazil actually carries a 82% c-section rate…..82%!!!! Can you believe it? I read that number and honestly, my head just spins.
The most fearful part about that 82% is that we, as American’s, are on the same road. I am aghast that women will blindly walk into the operating room and say NOTHING! Or even worse, request that their baby is surgically removed. Please don’t get me wrong, I believe in every woman’s right to choose whatever birth experience she wants but…..I believe that choice should only be made after proper experience, understanding and knowledge of what a c-section is and the consequences to choosing to have one.
Below is some information from Wikipedia about what The World Health Organization believes are c-section rate should be. They feel it should be cut in half at 15%. I recommend searching this subject online to get more information about it but some studies have concluded that, in the United States, our c-section rate should be as low as 10%.
The World Health Organization officially withdrew its previous recommendation of a 15% C-section rates in June 2010. Their official statement read, “There is no empirical evidence for an optimum percentage. What matters most is that all women who need caesarean sections receive them.”
The US National Institutes of Health says rises in rates of Caesarean sections are not, in isolation, a cause for concern, but may reflect changing reproductive patterns:
The World Health Organization has determined an “ideal rate” of all cesarean deliveries (such as 15 percent) for a population. One surgeon’s opinion is that there is no consistency in this ideal rate, and artificial declarations of an ideal rate should be discouraged. Goals for achieving an optimal cesarean delivery rate should be based on maximizing the best possible maternal and neonatal outcomes, taking into account available medical and health resources and maternal preferences. This opinion is based on the idea that if left unchallenged, optimal cesarean delivery rates will vary over time and across different populations according to individual and societal circumstances.
The number of C-sections performed has grown rapidly, for example, a fourfold increase from 1971 to 1991 (from 4.2 per 100 births). This may be accredited to the improved technology in detecting prebirth distress. Malpractice has been looked into because of the rapid increase. Some argue the higher costs of C-section births compared to regular births make physicians quicker to recommend surgery. Usually, if a doctor makes a recommendation, people are quick to take it to heart and act upon it. The effect of relative C-section price on C-section usage should be examined.
However, some commentators are concerned by the rise and have noted several evidence-based studies. Louise Silverton, deputy general-secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, says not only has society’s tolerance for pain and illness been “significantly reduced”, but also women are scared of pain and think if they have a Caesarean, there will be less, if any, pain. In the opinion of Silverton and the Royal College of Midwives, “women have lost their confidence in their ability to give birth.”
Silverton’s analysis is controversial among some surgeons. Dr Maggie Blott, a consultant obstetrician at University College Hospital, London and then a Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) spokeswoman on Caesareans (and Vice President of the RCOG), responded: ‘There isn’t any evidence to support Louise Silverton’s view that increasingly pain-averse women are pushing up the Caesarean rate. There’s an undercurrent that Caesarean sections are a bad thing, but they can be life-saving.’
A previously unexplored hypothesis for the increasing rate is the evolution of birth weight and maternal pelvis size. It is proposed that since the advent of successful Caesarean birth over the last 150 years, mothers with small pelvises and babies with large birth weights have survived and contributed to these traits, increasing in the population percentage. Such a hypothesis is based upon the idea that even without fears of malpractice, without maternal obesity and diabetes, and without other widely quoted factors, the C-section rate would continue to rise simply due to slow changes in population genetics.
The question is…..why are c-section rates so HIGH? Well, of course I believe their are a variety of reasons. Those reasons go anywhere from a busy doctor feeling more in control of the birth environment by performing a c-section so he recommends them regularly to a intervention overload which baby cannot handle and the inevitable response is baby struggling during delivery.
But…..in my opinion (which doesn’t matter much really), the reason for the HIGH c-section rates really is just lack of education on the part of the mother and the father. I gotta be honest, I’m always a bit surprised when I meet a couple who is getting ready to deliver their first baby and their understanding of the birth process is almost non existent.
I know that birth is just a normal day in and day out process in our world……but that doesn’t take away from the HUGE life change and transformation it brings with it. I think the mundane-ness of birth has brought with it an misunderstanding that the birth process is someone else’s responsibility aside from the parents. The child exists inside a women’s belly which mean SHE is the one who has to remove the child from her belly via the process of birth. Just logic alone shows us WHO is really in charge of the birth process!! THE MOTHER and NO ONE ELSE!!
Now, the mother in her wisdom, will hopefully make wise choices in her care provider while educating herself on the process of conception, pregnancy and birth. This is her BEST BET to A) avoiding a c-section and B) create and stimulate a BLISSFUL pregnancy and birth for herself. With all that being said, below are some interesting link I recommend you click on to educate yourself and be more aware of your choices and how to avoid a c-section.
I truly believe that education is KEY to knowing, finding, creating and having an AMAZING pregnancy and birth. It just is! We may have LOTS of other answers to fixing the problem. And I’m sure they are VERY good answers. But….education lifts the wisdom of a women to a place where she finds her power and strength to deliver her child in peace and joy.
First: Here is an EXCELLENT article that should help you understand the “set-up” for the c-section. Click on the link below.
“5 WAYS TO AVOID A C-SECTION”– As you read this article, educate yourself on what it means to have a “medically necessary” c-section. So often we confuse the opinions of our doctors with what a true medical emergency is. Find out BEFORE you deliver and then when your doctor throws out big words as to why you need a c-section, your decision will be based in your knowledge and not fear of the situation.
Lastly: It only makes sense that the Amish might have answers to help lower the c-section rate. But….the answer almost always is…..if you want to avoid a c-section….The MORE you leave a mother ALONE during her birth process, the MORE likely her birth will be a safe, vaginal birth. Click the link below to find out what’s working for the Amish.
P.S. I didn’t even go into the potential birth trauma for Mom and baby during and after a c-section. Check back for another day where I will touch on that subject. But again….another point to look at when educating yourself about c-sections!