SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

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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  • ashleyrocks By ashleyrocks
    05.22.07  

    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.

  • caryn8 By caryn8
    08.19.08  

    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.

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