First time moms get a lot of advice, sometimes it is a lot of unwanted advice. Eventually it gets to a point where it goes in one ear and out the other. Typically, a first time mom trusts one or two people; their mom (or motherly figure) and their doctor. Of course, their moms have been there and done that with the whole pregnancy and birthing thing and doctors have been there through countless pregnancies and births, why wouldn’t we trust them? After all they are supposed to be the experts, right?
In 2012 the United States cesarean rate was 32.8% (Cesarean Section, n.d.). C-sections are the most common procedure performed in operating rooms in the United States. Why? Well first and foremost I must say that there are real case emergencies where C-sections are needed in order to save the life of the baby and/or the mother. However, in many cases women are not allowed the option to have a vaginal birth (read my son’s birth story) because of various reasons that doctors come up with (not an actual emergency).
- Breech position – feet first instead of head first
- Carrying more than one baby
- Mother being overweight
- “Big Baby” – a big baby is considered any weight that is more than 4,000 grams or 8 pounds 13 ounces (1 out of 10 women will have a “big baby”)
The question is, are doctors doing these non-emergency C-sections based on medical reasons or for themselves? The average price of a vaginal birth is around $3,500 and on average a C-section birth is around $4,500 (mine in total was more than $10,000 it was not an emergency and I had no complications). So of course, by performing a C-section the doctor is making more money. Not only does the doctor make more money, but so does the hospital. The average first time mom is in labor for a total of 18 hours, it can be more or less. If a doctor plans a C-section that means they won’t have to spend 18 hours waiting for a baby to come out.
So, why am I throwing all these facts out at you? I want you to have the information you need in order to make an informed decision about your birth. Don’t be afraid to stick up for yourself and tell your doctor, “no”. It isn’t illegal to refuse. Of course, there are reasons that C-sections are absolutely necessary, but not for just the convenience of it being a faster process. C-sections are not the “easy way out”. It is major surgery, you get by because you have to. It is hard to let your body rest with a newborn and your urge to bond with them. I don’t know about other C-section moms, but even today (nearly 4 years post-partum) my scar area is still numb. If you want more on my experience with my C-section and recovery feel free to ask.
You know when you read a blog there is usually one major point the writer is trying to make and they usually put it in bold and say “if you take away anything let it be this”? Well, this blog is not any different.
Your birth is just that, YOURS. It is up to you to read your body for what is right and what is wrong. Don’t assume that your doctor’s opinions are always right for you. Question it, research both sides of it. Ask other mom’s and weigh your options carefully. Seek a second opinion if you need to.
For legal reasons though, I must tell you I am not a professional by any means. This is just my advice. I am not claiming that all doctors are like this and you shouldn’t trust them at all. I just want you to be aware of the choices that they are making for you.
Cesarean Section. (n.d.). Retrieved from Childbirth Connection: http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10554