Thursday, 1 May 2014

International Cesarean Awareness Month

Cesarean Sections in the United States

Did you know that in the US 1 in 3 women have a c-section? It is important to note that c-sections are major abdominal surgery. Many c-sections are unnecessary. Often women are not informed that c-sections are major surgery with risks. They are promoted as the easy way to give birth. For some women (and babies)- this may be true. Healing times vary and depend on type of scar. However, c-sections do carry their own risks, so it is very important to make an informed decision for yourself and your baby. 

** I am glad that we are able to offer c-sections in moments of extreme duress and for breech birth, but it should not be the norm. C-sections are changing the way women give birth. This raises a lot of questions like how will the body experience labour? How will we truly understand birth if the moment is a surgical one? And why are the risks for infant and mother mortality so high- particularly in the US as it is a developed country ***

Even in Canada, c-sections are becoming quite common. My little brother was an emergency c-section so I do understand the necessity and also that there is a wide range of normal after c-sections. 

Inform yourself on how to avoid (medically unecessary) c-sections

-Your medical provider is not always right. Don't be afraid to ask questions about risks and benefits, their c-section rate and to get a second opinion.

-Your ultrasound- Your baby's weight is an estimation not a spoken truth. Also, there are many smaller women who birth 10lb babies.

-Avoid too much medical interference, for example, continuous fetal monitoring 
(DR. S. Kalaichandran 2003)

If you need a c-section: 

  1. Get support- hire a doula
  2. if you plan to breastfeed do research on breastfeeding safe drugs- Dr Hale, Kellymom or Dr Newman have some great resources out there
  3. C-sections do seem to increase incidence of PPD ( may be related to Oxytocin. Although it is not set in stone that you or someone you know will develop PPD. (

For more information check this out!:
ICan International Cesarean Awareness Network-
Mothering the New Mother: Women's Feelings and Needs after Childbirth: A Support and Resource Guide by Sally Placksin 

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