Choose Your Own Birth Experience

   By drodriguez  Sep 14, 2008

It has become increasingly common to hear of moms-to-be choosing to have elective cesareans without a medical need. This has spurred much debate regarding the safety of mother and baby (after all, it is a major surgery that can take months to recover from), as well as the unnecessary cost to hospitals, insurance companies, and ultimately the taxpayers.

One BBC article reports that the UK’s National Health Service Trust has set up guidelines trying to cut down on the number of cesareans performed in hospitals. The article goes on to report about one hospital in particular (Leicester General Hospital) that has reduced the cesarean rate from the nation’s average 23% (about 1 in 4) to 19% (1 in 5) simply by encouraging women to have vaginal births.

According to the Center for Disease Control’s most recent report, cesarean delivery has risen to over 30% (more that 3 in 10) of all births in the United States. Proponents of cesarean delivery on a mother’s request argue that it is a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions when it comes to the birth of her child. It is also a common perception among those choosing a c-section that opting out of vaginal birth reduces the risk of incontinence later in life.

What do you think? Should there be more clear-cut guidelines implemented into US health policy dealing with cesarean deliveries? Or should the birth decision be left solely to the mother’s discretion?

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caryn8 by caryn8 | LAKE GENEVA, WI
Aug 19, 2008

I am 9 weeks away from my scheduled due date and have been reading everything I can get my hands on about labor and birth. Because this is my first, I want to be as informed as possible. I find it disturbing that women elect to have ceseareans when not a medical necessity. Why are we so afraid to give our bodies a chance to do what they were made to do? Granted things do not always go according to plan but the majority of us could have normal vaginal births. I think the answer to these alarming statistics is for women to educate themselves on both sides of the issue and make informed decisions. We too often blindly follow what our doctors or friends tell us. Decisions about our bodies need to be taken more seriously.

ashleyrocks by ashleyrocks | Ocilla, GA
May 22, 2007

I believe that if you have to cause something is wrong then yeah you should but I think having it natural is like the greatest feeling in the world.Yeah it hurts very badly and sometimes when you have a pain reliever it could wear off and you'll feel every bit of the pain but afterward,after all the pain is gone and your holding your baby you feel like you have accomplished one of the hardest things a mom could go through.All the pushing and hurting is worth it all when you first get a glimpse of your baby looking into your eyes.Its a very amazing feeling.But I can't say how it feels for a C-section cause I have never had one but I'm sure it could feel just the same.

mommyz2 by mommyz2 | Bensalem, PA
May 20, 2007

My 1st was a c-section due to failure to progress. My 2nd was a VBAC. My 2nd was 10lbs-8oz and should have been a c-section. I could have ruptured my uterus which is life threatening. She got stuck and it was very scary for a few minutes. Thank God everything turned out OK. But if I had another one I would choose a C-section. I think each person needs to be informed and discuss risks with the doctor. I don't think you should have major surgery for convienence or vanity.

lockliss by lockliss | lake grove, NY
May 19, 2007

My 1st child was an emergency C-section, before I went into labor or had any contractions, the baby was out. My 2nd child was a scheduled C-section and it was wonderful to know when the baby was coming out so my husband could take time off from work too. If I had it to do over, I would not change it.

mary5435 by mary5435 | OMAHA, NE
May 10, 2007

as for the government or whomever putting guidelines on things like this, i do feel its the mothers choice and we don't need someone/thing telling us what we can do or not do. this is America and each and every one of us needs to fight to keep what rights we have! Never agree to bills that would limit/take away any right--even if you don't personally agree w/ it! KEEP THE POWER WITH THE PEOPLE!!!

mary5435 by mary5435 | OMAHA, NE
May 10, 2007

why would you want to go thru MAJOR surgery for no medical reason?!? A friend of mine said she wanted a c-section so she 1. wouldnt have to go thru labor pains. 2. wouldn't "ruin"(her words) the- ahem,-tightness for her partner and 3. her babys head wouldn't be all (her words) deformed from being squished out! WAKE UP!! women were made to give birth the old fashioned way! otherwise we would have a pouch or something!!as for the other reasons...just stupid. thank god for emergency c sections- saves lives! but my opinion- don't go against nature unless you or baby is in danger!

JaxxSaxx by JaxxSaxx | national park, NJ
May 10, 2007

I think we should be able to choose ,it's you'r body you'r chose

moonbaby by moonbaby | Douglassville, PA
May 09, 2007

I am expecting my 3rd child (having had 2 previous c-sections for failure to progress) and my doctors are making me have a 3rd c-section. I would love to try a vbac, but my doctors won't let me. What do you do then.

mafalis by mafalis | manteno, IL
May 09, 2007

I had a natural birth with (luckily) no complications. Of course there was pain involved, but nothing I couldn't handle and after my daughter was delivered the pain didn't matter.

deedees77 by deedees77 | Quakertown, PA
May 09, 2007

C-sections should only be for mothers who need it for medical reasons not because they do not want to do the work to have their children. I have 3 and I am pregnant with my 4th and I would not want to have a c-section just so I could take the "easy way out". As for insurance companies they should not cover the c-sections that are not medically needed. Why would you want to put yourself through the pain and recovery of a c-section if not medically needed.

Rocker-mom by Rocker-mom | MILLSBORO, DE
May 09, 2007

After having 2 C-Sections, the first unscheduled after 25 hours of labor, the second scheduled, I would never have voluntarily opted for either unless my delivering vaginally compromised the babies. It is major surgery, and all birth options need to explored.

lola_michele by lola_michele | columbia, TN
May 08, 2007

I think that if a C-Section is needed for medical reasons then it is fine. I was reading about how when you have a C-Section you aren't able to hold your baby immediately. I know that probably doesn't impact the decisions of the people who chose to have the for (UUHHMM) cosmetic purposes, but i have had two beautiful children vaginally and I can't imagine what it would be like not to get to hold my new baby for 45 minutes while the doctor sews up the gigantic incision that I chose to have him make.

odinnfreya by odinnfreya | Warren, MI
May 08, 2007

I have had 3 natural births and 1 Emergency C-Section. The reason for the emergency is baby was breach, there was merconium and when he was pulled out the cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times. At first the doctor asked me if I wanted to try to do it vaginally but I felt there was something majorly wrong with the baby so I told him to get him out now before something happened. Thank God we did or he would of not survived. Now almost 7 years later I am scheduled for my 3rd heria repair surgery. Yep 3rd. So I feel that if you dont need a C-section then dont get it. It is not worth it in the long run. If there is something wrong with either baby or mom then by all means do whats best to make survival number one priority. Not because you need to get your nails done that weekend.

susielucy by susielucy | Marshall, IL
May 02, 2007

I have had 4 births the normal way and if I had it to do over would do so again.I was able to watch my children born and giving birth is pretty amazing in my opinion. I do not understand why "convienence" is such a big thing to people.The medical reasons I do understand.

Mikimoto68 by Mikimoto68 | SEATTLE, WA
Apr 29, 2007

I've never heard of women having a c-section for cosmetic reasons. You'll have a scar, so it makes no sense. I can see why some might think there would be less pain though, because given the choice between where to have an incision made - most women would prefer not to have an episiotomy.