C-section betrayal continues

Tonight I was directed to an article written by Eugene Declercq.  My search string on GoodSearch was {“Eugene Declercq” 1 percent}.  The article I intended to read first is entitled, “The Folly of 1 Percent Policy.”  I love how she brings Dick Cheney into the story.  Brilliant!

I scrolled down the search results page, and near the bottom I found an article that immediately piqued my interest.  “More done than ever before …C-SECTION RISKS: What Every Woman Needs to Know” written by Melanie Snyder for NY Metro Parents.  Snyder states: 

Cesarean risks for future pregnancies Women who undergo Cesareans (versus vaginal birth) have a very high risk of later infertility. For those who do conceive again, between one and nine out of every 1,000 have an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy, placental issues (placenta previa, placenta accrete or placental abruption) or a ruptured uterus. A baby who develops in a uterus with a Cesarean scar appears to have a moderate risk (one to nine of every 1,000) of dying before or shortly after birth.

See, and this is where I’m struggling with my own recent miscarriage.  Did I miscarry because I have c-section scar tissue?  Is there a correlation or link between c-section and miscarriage rate?  I never knew before I began my research that increased infertility (certainly a growing concern as a woman in my mid-30s) and a heightened risk of ectopic pregnancy due to c-section were things to worry about. 

Another point made in this article, and this is quite serious, folks – our medical practicioners are losing the skills to naturally assist women with more complicated labor and delivery.  Which leads me to a couple of theories . . .

  1. Interventionists claim that HBACs are unsafe because when they go wrong, these women end up on the ER’s doorstep.  This doesn’t take into consideration how many home births are successful.  Therefore, their numbers are skewed.
  2. Interventionists are better trained to surgically remove babies from their mothers.  It’s quick, it’s sterile (well, not always), it’s uncomplicated (yeah, try again), and it’s less intrusive on their schedules.  Given the possibility that OBs are being trained away from natural delivery of complicated presentations (or what have you), I imagine that women and babies are generally more safe birthing at home.

I feel the need to reproduce the resources section from this article, because they are so absolutely important.  These resources are not my own and originally appear with the Snyder article.

• Maternity Center Association: nonprofit founded in 1918 to promote safe, effective, and satisfying maternity care for all women and their families through research, education, and advocacy. www.maternitywise.org/mca [now www.childbirthconnection.org]
• International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN): nonprofit founded in 1982 to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary Cesareans through education, providing support for Cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). www.ican-online.org
• Advice on addressing “no VBAC” policies: www.ican-online.org/resources/white_papers/wp_denyvbac.htm
• Doulas and labor support professionals at: Association of Labor Assistants & Childbirth Educators: www.alace.org; Doulas of North America: http://www.dona.org/FindingADoula.html

• What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know about Cesarean Section: www.maternitywise.org/pdfs/cesareanbooklet.pdf [NOTE: this publication has moved to http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10169]
• Listening to Mothers: Report of the First National U.S. Survey of Women’s Childbearing Experiences: http://www.maternitywise.org/pdfs/LtMreport.pdf [NOTE: this publication has moved to http://www.childbirthconnection.org/article.asp?ck=10401]

I know I sound like a vigilanti, and perhaps that’s what I am becoming.  I used to trust doctors, but I’ve learned through experience that my instincts have proven more trustworthy when push comes to shove.  There are marvelous doctors, midwives, and doulas out there.  I don’t want to diminish the good work that is being done to promote maternal-baby health.  However, too many women agree to having surgeries that are not necessary and don’t consider future ramifications . . . all because they blindly trust their doctors. 

My plea is that every woman and her partner(s) do a lot of research and soul searching.  Don’t take anyone’s advice as Law.  Trust must be earned, so don’t let anyone bully you into anything.  Labor and delivery is a beautiful experience and an empowering one when embarqued upon with both eyes open.



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