Thursday, June 18, 2009

Thoughts on labor and delivery

A common comment here in Taiwan (usually from those who have never given birth) is that having a caesarean section is "easier" because you're knocked out under anesthesia and when you wake up the baby is there.

Um...the thought of a c-section has always scared me because you're cutting through and making a hole where there wasn't one before. First you have the uterus, which is at least an inch thick. And then connective tissue, abdominal muscles, fat, skin, etc. A c-section is major surgery, folks!
Says the Canadian Medical Association Journal: Women who undergo elective caesarean sections suffer more than three times the number of cardiac arrests, blood clots and major infections than those who deliver vaginally. (Source)
I've had moms tell me that recovery from a c-section is really painful. One mom tells me she still sometimes feels pain around her wound nine years after the birth of her son.

Yes there are times when c-sections are medically necessary. I'm all for that. In fact, the WHO says a c-section rate of about 5-10% of all births is ideal. However, in the U.S. and Taiwan, the rate is well over 30% and rising.

Part of the reason why is an increasing rate of labor interventions, including inductions, epidurals given early in labor, and continuous electronic fetal monitoring. Canadian pregnancy specialists are now recommending doctors to not consider inductions before the end of the 41st week.

If you're interested in learning more, Childbirth Connection is a good resource.

No comments: