Friday, August 18, 2006

Caesarean Rates "At All Time High"

Over 29% of pregnant women now give birth via drugs, a knife and tied down to a table while another human puts his gloved hands into the gaping abdominal hole and pulls out the baby.

Side effects:

  1. Infection
  2. Scarring
  3. Abdominal weakness
  4. Longer hospital stays
  5. Longer separation from baby
  6. Interference in bonding
  7. Interference in nursing (ever try to carry around 8 pounds all day recovering from abdominal surgery?)
  8. Secondary C-sections (due to liability not necessity)
  9. Depression
And why would doctors do this and women submit to this barbarism besides covering their highly exposed asses?
  • The national bill for childbirth as a whole in 2003 totaled $34 billion, with hospital stays involving C-section delivery accounting for nearly half this amount -- $15 billion.
  • Medicaid -- the federal-state program for the poor -- was billed for 43 percent of childbirths overall and 41 percent of those involving c-section delivery.
If women weren't so duped and instilled with fear about a naturally occuring phenomenon that has worked well for, oh, a gazillion years, they would band together and fight for more humane and healthy treatment.

I have talked about this before. This topic gets me going like few others. One day, history is going to judge this generation as absolutely foolish.


Anonymous said...

One of the reasons i decided to stop at three children was my experience at the local hospital...EACH TIME. I want my married daughter, WHEN she decides to have her children, to have her children at home and NOT in the hospital. You know how these doctors can be though and they generally discourage such individualism. What can i do to help make this a real possibility for her? o

Dr. Melissa said...

Educate her. Have her read some books by Sheila Kitzinger and Ina May Gaskin. Have her read the book Birthing from Within. Have her read Naomi Wolf's book Misconceptions.

Instill the mantra: your body is made to do this. Women are strong and powerful and ABLE.

Get videos showing water births, and mid-wife assisted births. Your local midwife should have resources for you. Once she sees how birth can be, with support, she will be enticed to try a "new" way, aka the way it's always been done.

If truly desperate, have her write ne an email. This is such an important milestone in life and the memories are forever, but I don't have to tell you that. You already know.

Good luck!

Christy're said...

But haven't women been dying in childbirth for just as many years? How do home births deal with problems?

I'd like to have a midwife but would prefer to be in a hospital setting, as my brother and mother nearly died during that birth and a 60-second C-section saved them.

Dr. Melissa said...

How do you explain a 30% (50% in Houston) c-rate when in the 70s it was less than 15%?

Many of the interventions cause the higher c-rate.

It is true that women and babies died in childbirth routinely in history and even in some countries today. But one could make the argument, since places like Sweden have much lower mortality rates than the U.S. and use predominantly Mid-wife attended homebirths, that it has not been technology or medicine that lowered the mortality rate, but things like nutrition, education, etc.

The midwife who attended my home birth has oxygen, pitocen injections, forceps, scalpels to widen the birth opening and various ways to help me or the baby. The number one way a woman could die is hemmorhage. This is a very rare complication and not worth the trade-off of the other, VERY likely, in fact, almost certain interventions like epidurals, catheterizations,pit-drips, and IVs which result in other complications like infection (another girl friend of mine nearly died and her baby did die--in the hospital due to a vicious, hospital only infection), shock, bladder rupture, ascites, the list could go on and on.

There is an assumption that hospital births guarantee a good outcome. (This absurd notion is why Ob/Gyns have astronomical malpractice insurance--promises of perfection.) A friend of mine has a dead wife to prove that hospital birth is not a 100% sure thing.

The mythology surrounding modern birth foments the fear of just the kind of case you mention. But I'm wondering about the circumstances of your brother's near death.

Also, I'm enough pro-woman that I believe a woman should have birth where and how she wants to--hospital or otherwise. A woman must first and foremost feel safe. If that is the hospital--fine. But so many women swallow their humiliation, embarrassment, regret, and trauma around a hospital birth becasue "the baby was healthy". That is NOT enough.

A woman remembers the birth her entire life. It is a life transforming event. It is spiritual. Medicalized birth does not honor the social and psychological milestone. In fact, the mother is an appendage to the process.

Childbirth in America needs reform.

Liz said...

A friend of mine has 11 children all who were home birthed. One had major complications and was born with mental retardation among other things. This child is now much older and still needs to be put in diapers and in general be treated like a baby. My friend confessed to me one that this little girl has ruined her life. Not something she would have ever told anyone else. These are the risks that you take when you choose to homebirth. I had my children in the hospital and were 100% happy with my experience. I also felt safe. I was part of my friends homebirth with her second baby and even got to help. It was great. But I knew it was not for me.