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Choose Your Own Birth Experience

Choose Your Own Birth Experience

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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  • sharman421 By sharman421
    04.24.07  

    It is so ridiculous to allow a c-section unless it is purely for medical reasons! Any physician who performs one for any other reason other than the health of mother or baby is a quack! It is surgery! If you want an elective surgery , have your face lifted or your tummy tucked, but don't mess around with child birth! Why would doctors provide a choice? Easier to schedule around their time off? Keeps them from getting up in the middle of the night? They can charge more?

  • jemappel By jemappel
    04.25.07  

    I had a baby 6 months ago (it ended up being an induced, vaginal delivery) but I was concerned that I would have to make a decision about having a c-section during delivery. It's such a hard choice - because you know there are so many unnecessary c-sections but God forbid you choose not to have a c-section and something happens to the baby! And, I couldn't really find a doctor who I trusted enough - I felt like they were all more pro-c-section than I was comfortable with. I did a ton of research...all I found was a factoid about vaginal birth helping the baby breathe better after emerging b/c the pressure of the birth canal helps push the amniotic fluid out of their lungs. I wasn't thrilled with being induced either - and that is another issue up for debate - how far after the due date is appropriate to be induced? I definitely feel that there is not enough info out there on the costs/benefits of c-sections or inductions, and it makes it very stressful for a woman to figure out what is right for her. I also feel that doctors are so scared of lawsuits that they will err on the side of doing surgery so I don't really trust them.

  • jet696 By jet696
    04.26.07  

    I had 3 c-sections - the first not being by choice and I chose the last 2 times. I had no complications - bonded perfectly well with my children -was home in 2 days. I personally think its a matter of choice- a matter between mom and dr.

  • cyndib By cyndib
    04.26.07  

    I think that elective c-sections is a disturbing trend. I had my son without a drop of pain killers and I had a vaginal delivery. I used natural methods of pain relief (birthing ball and massage) and that is how I intend to have my next child. It was a wonderful experience and I was able to breastfeed my baby right after birth because he wasn't doped up on medications.

  • txangel86 By txangel86
    04.26.07  

    Yes i think it should be up to the mother, but i also think that the mothers aren't being well informed about c-sections either. I don't understand where they are getting that it is painless and for cosmetic reason. Hello you are getting your stomach cut into, so you will have that scar there for the rest of your life. with a vaginal bith you can be up and walking around back the same day or the next. all 3 of my kids were vaginal and i am glad they where. there is nothing more better the to experience the birth of your child (pushing them out) then having them placed right on you afterward.

  • christyj By christyj
    04.27.07  

    I had both of my babies all natural, no drugs. I am glad that I had both of them natural. I too freaked out by having my stomach sliced open to take out a baby that my body can push out natural.

  • boopy63fl By boopy63fl
    04.29.07  

    When I had my daughter 20 years ago, I never even thought about a c section. However, with many medical complications I ended up having one. I had never had major surgery before and was scared to death. The complications after a c section are many and dangerous. I ended up with a blood clot in my groin area, and a infection in my incision. It what not fun, and very painful. I would never choose to do that again.

  • Mikimoto68 By Mikimoto68
    04.29.07  

    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.

  • susielucy By susielucy
    05.02.07  

    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.

  • odinnfreya By odinnfreya
    05.08.07  

    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.

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