My first son's welcome to the world.
Yeah yeah yeah. Some women NEED caesareans. But MOST women DON'T need them. So how come more than 30% of pregnant women end their pregnancy with surgery? How come all those women are meeting their babies for the first time, drugged to the eyeballs?
Don't tell me it's because women are requesting elective surgery. If it was really because women were electing surgery then surely doctors wouldn't be conducting major surgery on healthy women and babies, they would counsel women on the risks of unnecessary major abdominal surgery and support them in planning the best possible vaginal birth.
Don't tell me it's because birthing women are older now than they were when we had a far lower caesarean rate. Because women are also living longer, and their bodies are far healthier owing to good nutrition and hygiene.
Don't tell me it's because women are too fat to have babies coming out of their vaginas. Left alone the vast majority of women labour beautifully. MOST complications during birth are the result of obstetric over management.
Don't tell me that it's because of the risks of giving birth AFTER you're already had a surgical baby removal, because the risks of repeating the baby amputation are greater than the risks of letting the baby choose it's own exit route - but doctors conveniently forget to mention that.
So what can YOU do to lower the surgical baby birthday rate?
Why not blog about it during caesarean awareness month!
You can tell women the truth about their birthing day. They DIDN'T GIVE BIRTH if the doctor cut the baby out. Even if the baby needed to be cut out, they still didn't give birth! The baby was BORN, the woman did not give birth.
You can write to your local hospital, politician, doctor, mother's group, health insurance company or anyone else involved with the beginning of life in any remote capacity.
What can you do to save yourself from having unnecessary surgery?
You must be the expert on health care during pregnancy and birth. You must NOT entrust your care to an "expert" no matter what happens. Google everything three times, read many many sources, read books, ask more than one type of birth professional how they will handle your pregnancy and what their protocol for birth is.
If you're hiring a doctor make sure you ask the difficult questions. If you're afraid to ask the doctor the right questions, WALK OUT THE DOOR, YOU HAVE THE WRONG DOCTOR. When asking questions if the conversation goes like this -->
YOU: How often do you do repeat surgery?
DR: Only when we 'really need' to
then your next question has to be
YOU: For what reasons will you suggest that I 'really need' surgery?
and if the answer that follows isn't a good one (post dates, stalled or slow labour, breech etc etc), then you must walk out the door and hire a new birth professional.
Hire a midwife - not to be confused with a MEDwife - and give birth AT HOME.
If you can't do that ask yourself why not. Is your partner against it? Tell him to go jump in a lake. Your body, your choice where and with whom you give birth. Period. I know of at least three women whose husbands overrode their desire to homebirth, the women had surgery and promptly divorced their husbands. Marriage can not survive birth trauma that is caused during unwanted hospital birth. Is money a problem? Get a loan. Save up. Pay the midwife in installments. Safe birth is priceless, unnecessary surgical birth is costly in ways you probably can't imagine.
If you still can't do it hire a doula. Know your interventions! Don't set foot in a medical birth management facility without knowing when and why the staff will try and push you into "consenting" to each medical intervention. Less than 5% of women leave a hospital after an intervention free birth. So maybe 3 or 4 in every hundred women will have an unhindered birth.
Here are some thing you should look into before going to hospital, or even hiring a care provider.
- pregnancy due date estimating
- scanning and other tests they will want you to undertake "because it's routine"
- monitoring during labour
- the effects of pain relieving drugs. ALL of them have side effects. ALL OF THEM.
- natural pain relieving techniques that the institution support and to what degree they support them (for example some hospitals will "let" you labour in water but insist you lie on your back with your legs in stirrups to push the baby out)
- how long they will "let" you labour for before they push chemical augmentation and/or surgery
- KNOW ABOUT THE CASCADE OF INTERVENTIONS.
- Know that when you set foot in a hospital you will be just one more woman in another bed and nothing more. The staff will forget your face in a week, you will remember their faces for the rest of your life. Hospital staff are the same as supermarket staff, they just want the customers to be in and out without "making their jobs difficult"
- Make sure your partner and/or any other support people you take will not tell you to "listen to the nice doctor". Make sure they know as much as you know about hospital "birth". Make sure they know that staff will use intimidation and emotional blackmail to get birthing women to cooperate.
- BE PREPARED TO SAY NO until you are blue in the face, to as many scary people in white coats as they can send in to scare you with their non evidence based practices.
- Be prepared for them to laugh at your birth plan and completely override it
- Know that you might just be that one in three who has their baby cut out
- Know that your chance of a completely natural birth in hospital are about 3-4 in 100
I am a mama who has had two caesareans. One hospital vba2c and one hba2c. The ONLY reason I got my hospital vba2c was because I had a very stubborn support team who really knew their way around obstetric birth managment, and because I turned up at the hospital at 10cm, ready to push (but they still tried to section me, telling me my contractions were ineffective). The ONLY reason I was in hospital is because I was in premature labour. Had labour begun on its' own and all been well I would have stayed WELL AWAY from the Knife Happy place.
The time has come! Women need to stop waiting for governments, hospitals and obstetric surgeons to reduce the caesarean epidemic. Women must take charge of their own pregnancy care, demand support and respect from their partners, husbands and families. Demand the care they want, the BEST and SAFEST care from their pregnancy health care professionals. Demand evidence based care, demand to SEE proof of the evidence! Source your own material, never rely on one source.
Vote with your money, take your business elsewhere if you aren't getting the service you want. Would you hire a plumber who said he would only install a toilet in your lounge room because that was what he believed was safer? No! You would hire a different plumber and insist that the toilet be installed in the bathroom. Never hire any professional unless they can guarantee you the service you seek.
Obviously some births will always end in caesarean, but those surgical births must be undertaken with the greatest of care and kindness towards the woman and babies undergoing this major surgery, and they must never be undertaken unless they are absolutely necessary.
My youngest son's welcome to the world