02 April 2009

April is

Cesareans can save lives & I'm glad they are available. But they can also cost lives; a cesarean is major abdominal surgery and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. According to Childbirth Connection.org,
Recent studies reaffirm earlier World Health Organization recommendations about optimal cesarean section rates. The best outcomes for mothers and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5% to 10%. Rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good (Althabe and Belizan 2006).
2007 data shows that it is nationally 31.8%. My state, NJ is the highest in the nation at nearly 40%! Women who have this surgery are four times more likely to die than women who give birth vaginally.

There is much that can be done to lessen chances of giving birth by cesarean unnecessarily. Educate yourself. Do all that you can to prevent primary cesareans and support VBAC in your community. Check out ICAN for information.


Love This Life said...

I chuckled at this post... oh and the ribbon looks like a noose doesn't it? Good to laugh I know... but for some this scenario (is a worst case) is truly a necessity... in a perfect world we'd all have a smooth labour, do the hard work be done... but in some cases (in the case with my second child - first one was fine, just a long labour) the cord was wrapped quite a number of times around baby's neck... for some reason I knew something was wrong even after progressing to 9cms and wanting like hell to push, I didn't because the doctors and nurses were concerned about presentation ie. the baby was still very high up and not engaged... scary scenarios happen... even with those of us with the best intentions... I can't stress enough that a c-section is 'not the easy way out' and that indeed I feel it should be avoided at all costs with those associated risks... vaginal birth is a far superior experience, and of course, should be first choice as the natural option. Always good posts - Thanks Kim (0;

DoulaMomma said...

Babies sometimes know it's best not to descend! Isn't their wisdom amazing that way? Though cord around the neck (even multiple times - my second son had several loops around his neck & body as well as a true knot (fairly rare) but a super long cord, so it was not an issue) is very common (about a third of all babies) it can certainly be an issue if the cord is short or impeding descent. I'm so glad you and your baby were in good hands!
As I said - I'm happy that the surgery is there for when it's needed...my concern is that it seems to be "needed" more & more every year and we have statistically lapped the place that science tells us more harm than good is happening. There will always be some babies who need to be born this way but from a public health perspective, we just can't afford to ignore this growing epidemic - the cost is just too great.
And I would never say that a cesarean is the easy way out...there is no free lunch - you either do the work in labor or in recovery (or in your case, both!)...
Though "cesarean on demand" concerns me, it accounts for such a small percentage of cesareans - my concern is more iatrogenic - the cases we cause through the way we "manage" labor, also the lack of true informed-consent and repeat cesareans because VBAC is not offered.
I appreciate your points - thanks for reminding me that advocacy can be offensive (maybe that's not the right word), depending on perspective.