Hispanic Female Pelvises are Better?

My OB said the most bizarre thing today.  At first it didn’t really strike me as bizarre, but the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized it’s a crock of shit.

I’m not exactly sure how we got onto this topic this morning, but he stated that the Hispanic female pelvis is bigger than the average white woman’s pelvis.  The best birthers are short hispanic women according to the doc.  And then said something about a study in Southern California that I didn’t really pay any attention to.

Let’s just break this down a bit.  According to this post over at The Unnecessarean (July 2010), the cesarean rate in Mexico’s private hospitals is 70% and 40% in public hospitals.  If Mexican women are so much more physically capable of using their pelvises, then why does their cesarean rate exceed ours?  Perhaps pelvimetry is not as much a factor as OBs would like us to think?

The Unnecessarean post, an article written by Cinthya Sanchez that appeared in El Universal on July 18, 2010, further points out:

A 2002 study based on public health data from 126 countries found that the estimated rate of cesarean sections in the world was 15%, while in Latin America and the Caribbean, the average rate was 29.2%: Mexico (39.1%), Brazil (36.7%), Dominican Republic (31.3%) and Chile (30.7%).

None of these cesarean rates support my doctor’s assertion that a woman’s genetic structure has anything to do with achieving a vaginal birth.  According to Jesús Lujan, an obstetrician-gynecologist specializing in human reproductive medicine and the director of Clínica Pronatal, other factors are at work here.

“Women are marked in advance by previous cesarean section, any uterine scar in general, and cephalopelvic disproportion, which is almost always an imprecise measure because not all professionals use the same parameters for diagnosis. Mothers are told that are too short and that we are sure your pelvis is smaller than the baby’s head, that they are too old and will be unable to handle birth, that the cord is tangled, that sex will never be the same, and many other lies,” says Lujan.

Aha!  I knew it.  I wonder if some jackass OB in Mexico is currently telling his patient that you need to be tall with a Nordic bone structure (my genes) to have a baby fit through the pelvis?  What do you think?

For more information on CPD (cephalo-pelvic disproportion) diagnoses (and what it probably doesn’t mean for you) and pelvises, I recommend:

3 responses to “Hispanic Female Pelvises are Better?

  1. I wonder if he said that because he sees Hispanic moms having easier births than white moms. I would hazard a guess that the Hispanic women at the hospital where I work have lower c-section rates than the white women, but there are a lot of confounding factors. The Hispanic women tend to start having children much younger (in their early 20s vs. early- to mid-30s) and are often having their 3rd or 4th baby…so of course they tend to have more straightforward labors! I’m probably more likely to see them having a repeat c-section because of their first c-section in Mexico than to see them having a primary c-section here (although of course they have a pretty good # of primary c-sections here too, it’s just unavoidable in our system). If he’s attributing “good pelvises” to simple demographics, that is ridiculous.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Rebecca. I hadn’t thought about those factors. As far as I could discern, he was suggesting that hispanic women are genetically predisposed to have better birthing pelvises. Whereas my tall Nordic amazon structure gets me no points in the childbearing pelvis category.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  3. Pingback: Blog it out: 38 week OB appointment | The Trial of Labor

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