Since I have been moving through the questions relatively easily, on to questions #3 and #4 from the survey. Question number three turned out to be a very popular question with many comments. In fact I had to read through 20 pages, yes, 20 pages of comments to see which should be used or stood out the most.
Question #3 was :
Question #3 – If Elective or Planned, What was the reason?
Previous Birth was Cesarean, Doctor Recommended : 33.9% 112 mothers
Knew what to expect, was the birth I wanted: 10.3% 34 mothers
Fear of labor & Natural childbirth : 2.4% 8 mothers
Previous Traumatic Birth, Cesarean was Less risky : 6.4% 21 mothers
No VBAC Support or availability : 5.5% 18 mothers
Other : 56.1 % 185 mothers
531 mothers skipped this question
There is so much more that could be shared about this subject in general, but I am just going to share some quotes from others instead of breaking this one down because it can certainly be a touchy subject, or carry feelings for some women.
April shared this quote with us as well as gave us permission to use it
“[The] Doctor scared me into it by telling me the baby was too big to have [give birth] to without losing her”
While we do not know how big April’s daughter was born at, in my follow up e-mail contact with her she said
“Hopefully it can help someone else not be scared into a decision they may later regret.”
Lindsey shared her experience with her quote
“[I had] no trust in my body, or support from my OB”
Which was a comment that was frequent while looking through the results of the survey, and the comments that were being left by the mothers who took this survey. I think one of the common misconceptions today is women are looking to their Obstetricians for support that they are not going to receive. With the maternity care system today, the way it is set up, we should be utilizing doula’s more than we do, especially for this type of support. Or opt for care with Midwives.
We had mothers who had truly medically necessary cesarean births also :
Anya told her story of a very scary situation leading to the birth of her child “Baby was IUGR – had to come at 36 weeks with less than 24 hours notice” IUGR stands for Inner Uterine Growth Restriction.
Corrina shared “Baby #3 needed to be born via cesarean because of previous uterine rupture”
Though I wish I could say the medically necessary cesareans really took up the majority of the comments, there were some comments that just made me want to yell. LOL
But the one comment that stood out to me the most was :
I had a ‘medwife’, whom I didn’t know was beholden to the hospital. They later bought out her practice. She’d had a number of other births that day and was tired. This was the easy way out for her. I trusted her completely to take care of me and to see that I would have a vaginal birth. I was completely blindsided; my ‘birth’ was the furthest thing from my mind.
It is horrible that any woman would have to endure this kind of treatment because of their provider simply being tired, and something like this came up recently around the internet with “L&D Staff Behaving Badly“ which became widespread across the internet.
More and more women are starting to have cesareans for suspected fetal macrosomia which is just a fancy tern for a suspected big baby. But since we are all aware of the lack of accuracy in ultrasound measurements in the last trimester, these estimates should really be taken with a grain of salt.
“I was told I was having a 10-11 lb baby that I probably wouldn’t be able to deliver naturally, who ended up being 7 lbs 13 oz.”
“insulin-dependent GD, drs feared 11-12 lb baby, turns out he was 8.6, my smallest”
Then we had a couple mothers with HSV2 which essentially is genital herpes. There is a lot of misinformation today which makes mothers with this virus feel as though a vaginal birth is not an option for them. ICAN has a great bit of information for mothers who do have this virus, Herpes in Pregnancy which offers a great amount of information to mothers.
“Had HSV2 and since I did not know much about it, I didn’t know whether I contracted before or after pregnancy and was told a cesarean was playing it safe. I was, however, told that I could birth vaginally for subsequent births.”
It is sad to read some of this, but uplifting to see that there really are and have been some medically necessary c-sections taking place in the sea of unnecessary surgery.
I must say I am pleasantly surprised about the extreme number of news articles regarding the skyrocketing cesarean rate and how truly dangerous it is to our mothers, and babies. Women are still dying at alarming numbers and I hope that with all this coming out practice patterns of OB/GYN’s will change, because they certainly are the ones driving these numbers, not women.
Question #4 talked about support persons in labor and read :
What support did you have during labor?
Midwife : 18.2%
Doula : 9.3%
Spouse/Partner : 90.7%
Family/Friend : 37.0%
Hospital Staff : 49.2%
I do not have very much to say about this in general, but there are a couple alarming trends with this.
One thing that I am not happy to see is women depending on hospital staff for support during labor. Unfortunately in hospital situations and settings we know that nurses as well as hospital staff are completely over worked, and there are some serious shortages across the nation. Depending on a hospital staff member could be a contributing factor to the cesarean rates.
Another issue I can see is the lack of professional support, like using a doula which is connected directly with lowered cesarean birth rates. Women are depending on their partner, or husband which is what I did with my first child. I thought that I could “train” him to be my doula during my labor, but I think we all know how that ended.
Women really need to know how valuable the support of a doula is. With more insurance companies starting to actually cover doula services I hope that more women start to utilize them for births in a hospital setting.