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This article nearly gave me a coronary.


I thought I was going to be sick reading how women are choosing cesareans for convenience, to avoid pain (?!?!?!?!?!?!?), because they think it's safer (?!?!?!)... what is wrong with these people?!?! I am so disgusted that the TRUTH isn't known. I just want to scream and cry all at the same time.

I know I'm not alone.

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Reader Comments (19)

Ok... if you don't want the inconvenience of labour... pain or not (there is pain options out there gang!)WHAT ARE YOU DOING HAVING A BABY!?! Because golly gee, major abdominal surgery is such a blast! Been there, did that (somewhat warranted, breech baby) and never went back after two hbacs! A sadist I am not. Pain sucks, but really girls? Avoiding pain with major surgery? Make me retch!

February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I remember my thoughts were the same when Brittney Spears chose a c-section for those same reasons.

So many people have become so SELFISH!! With plastic surgery and all...and to put yourself before your child in such a way!!! What kind of parents will they be??

Have women forgotten how long women have been having babies??? And for many, many years without pain meds, etc??

You are such a strong advocate!! Women are lucky to have you!!

By the way...my sister is getting ready to have #6 in April. She had 4 at home with midwives. She plans to have #6 at home as well.

February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWildButterfly

I was at my daughter's school this afternoon talking to her teacher when another, very pregnant mom walked up. We all chatted a bit about her pregnancy, and I asked when she was due.

"In two weeks, but I'm having a c-section, so I'll find out tomorrow when I'm really having it."


I'm really torn in these situations. It's a head start program, which means that all the families there are low income for one reason or another.. and it's been my experience that low-income mothers are less likely to be really informed about medical/birth stuff. I find myself wanting to beg them to listen to me so I can tell them that they don't HAVE to have surgery, but then I realize that it's none of my business.

February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterShylah

Give me labor over the pain from a c/s any day of the week. As a nurse I see women with vag births get up and, heaven forbid, walk upright a couple hours after having a kid. Not to mention that they can transfer from a gurnery to a bed, and actually nurse their infant. C/S mamas (been there twice)can't get out of bed for hours and when they do they are usually so sore it takes a good 10 min to walk the 7 feet from the bed to the bathroom. I want anyone choosing a c/s to see that and choose one. Anything for the vagina of a 16y/o I guess.

February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I knew I wasn't alone. I cannot figure out how they think surgery is less pain than labor... labor is transient (even contractions don't last more than a couple of minutes at a time!) and is OVER when it is over. The pain from a cesarean can last YEARS (and not just emotionally). I just cannot figure out how women justify this as a pain-avoidance thing. I cannot fathom how SURGEONS who speak of the excruciating pain of other abdominal surgeries, will downplay the pain from a cesarean. (I know, I know... money and liability and all, but still.)

How do you all think this is going to end up? Will scheduled cesareans overtake vaginal births? Will VBACs eventually make a come-back? Will women ever figure out the truth? Are we the ones that are delusional?

23 years ago, I thought my work (and that of those around me) would make a difference. Perhaps it is, but not quite the way we expected. How come there are so many of us with the same mindset, yet interventions continue being amplified and multiplied? I just cannot figure it out.

February 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

"23 years ago, I thought my work (and that of those around me) would make a difference. Perhaps it is, but not quite the way we expected."

I'm sure the work does make a difference ~ to those it reaches. I personally did not even know homebirth was an option for women until after my second birth. How do we change a culture when the mass information supports the theory that birth is somehow a terrible thing to deal with? I guess you just keep talking (shouting) and hope that your voice is heard over the roar of misinformation. *Little ripples* Not what you want to hear, but have faith that it does make a difference. I for one have four children who will be informed thanks to the work you and others have done.

February 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCheryl Q

When I was 19 years old, and had an emergency appendectomy, I knew instinctively without anyone telling me, that I would rather have ten children vaginally someday than any more surgery ever for any reason.

I was right.


MAYBE - just thinking 'out loud' here.... choosing a C-birth isn't about fear of pain, but fear of the unknown? Almost everybody knows somebody who has had surgery of some form or another. But how many women know other women who have positive (natural, vaginal) birth stories to share? Beautiful Birth is a scarce commodity in our society.

February 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSarahthedoula

Kind of like women smoking during pregnancy.

I remember a woman saying to me "Well I want a small baby anyway!!"

February 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWildButterfly

It didn't even occur to me to ask a client I was with on Friday if she smoked, and was consequently shocked out of my socks when she said "I'm going to grab a puff or two while you get the car" BAH!!

February 7, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterSarahthedoula

Of course, I am in total agreement . . . I fought for a vaginal birth in the hospital for my first and had the second at home. (What a beautiful, empowering experience!) My midwife is also a good friend, and I am always reminding her that she is fighting the good fight, one beautiful birth experience at a time. If we do not "live out loud" related to our birth experiences, the mainstream press is going to win, and we will become a species incapable of birthing our babies without surgery! Okay, that's an extreme view, but still we need to socialize our young women that their bodies are amazing and life-giving, and can successfully bring their babies into the world with just the gentle help of midwives. Keep up the good work -- you may not feel like you are making a difference, but each normal birth is such a victory!!

February 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I can't believe this article...I mean seriously, how can this be...how can women say that they'd rather have a c-section than try to deliver vaginally?? I just don't understand, it really blows my mind.

I think that wildbutterfly is right when she says that some people are selfish...why having children in the first place? and you are right Navelgazing Midwife, what can be done? The number of C-section being done electively or just because a previous C-section was performed can't keep going up like that.

February 8, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterBebu

I believe it has more to do with ignorance, mainstream influence and misinformation than selfishness.
Unfortunatly - ignorance is rampant and those who would benefit from elective OB surgeries have been known to take advantage of that ignorance.
Every single person in the ripple makes a difference. If living your birth out loud (Love that cliche, btw) helps to avoid one woman being a victim - then shout it out ladies!

February 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWash Lady

I was just thinking...not to dump on the MDs...but maybe they also are at fault for this. They may find it "easier" to do c-sections so they can schedule them when "convienent" for them. Kind of like episiotomies??

February 9, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterWildButterfly

Let us not forget that c-sections come with higher rates of post partum depression, post partum psychosis and even post traumatic stress syndrome (which can rear it's ugly head years and years later!)

Not to mention the cosmetic issues with trying to ever get a flat (ish) belly again, the humiliation of being shaved in front of strangers, the catheter, the weird shoulder pain, shall I go on?

February 10, 2006 | Unregistered Commenterbirthstudent

Well, of course the Docs are muchly to blame and *do* deserve to be dumped on (not all, but many) as does the insurance industry as they push (hard) for preventative cesareans and no VBACs.

I was just researching shoulder dystocia and in my research, I was stunned at the massive amount of websites by lawyers and law firms regarding sueing for a slew of birth-related issues, including some things that are not preventable, even with a cesarean (bruising on the baby, for example). It is no wonder when someone is looking something up postpartum that they see they should be sueing (or so the lawyers think) for birth "injuries." It really is frightening enough to make me want to quit.

(Search "birth injuries" to get an idea of what I mean.)

So, we all agree that the issue at hand is scandalous. How do we change this? Fix this? Prove that the women are delusional in thinking the pain is less?

I absolutely agree that cesareans can cause PTSD and PPD - as is my theory, any assault to the body during birth, even as the head/brain can justify it, causes a biochemical and emotional/spiritual imbalance as the body and mind try to cope with the body pain. So, how do we explain this? Who will even care or listen? Women are so sheeple-like nowadays. It's so sad, watching the trends.

And thank you for believing I make a difference. Goddess knows I sure try.

February 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNavelgazing Midwife

I had my son in October 2004 at the age of 23. I was a week overdue so they told me I was to be induced. The inductions started at 10am on a saturday, by that night I had nothing more then a few mini (and pain free) contractions. They gave something so I could sleep (though I didn't believe I needed it) and when I woke up in the morning it started all over.
My son wasn't moving as much as they would have liked despite several walks, orange juice, etc. Also, during all this time I never dilated past a 2 and they wanted me at a 3 before they broke my water. By 3pm it was decided I was to have a c-section.
While it all went well, and I took nothing more then 2 tylenol with each my meals for two days and that was it. I still feel I would like to have a 'real' birth. It seems though that no one will do a VBAC anymore and everytime I try to learn more about it all I hear are scary stories of ruptures and mother or baby dying.. or hysterectomies.

How in the world can you ever NOT have to have a nother C/S when you really aren't given a choice or they scare you out of your mind at what 'will' happen?

My C/S went well, as I said, but that doesn't mean I want to do it again. I have always felt like I failed somehow.. and I feel like I will never have the chance to make it right.

I think one thing to aim for is to reach people like me who have already had a C/S but don't want another. Am help us find ways to get our vaginal birth despite these massive odds against our wishes. Surely I am not the only one who just doesn't know where to turn or what to do?

February 10, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterCherry

imagine my fingers are in my ears and my eyes are closed- and I am saying LALALALALALAALALALAALALALAALALA I can't hear you . I haven't read this article and won't people are just crazy sometimes. And I just might not be able to help or fix that.

take care of yourself Barb- I enjoy your posts- have just put in a pressure cooker for about 3 weeks now midwifery related politics..... S

February 11, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

that article- that phenomenon- YUCK! so selfish! ew. i like your blog though, and i also believe that you're making a difference just by doing what you do!

February 15, 2006 | Unregistered Commentergnarly nanny

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