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Great article looking at elective cesareans

Posted Dec 20 2009 3:38pm

Putting Mothers and Babies at Risk:  Promoting the Elusive ‘‘Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request’’

This looks at the risks of promoting even the idea that moms are choosing elective cesareans.  It points out that many moms choosing planned cesareans are being led to that choice by their OBs.  I have posted before about the need for better definitions of the type of cesareans.

I think one big problem of  promoting this idea of maternal choice cesareans, is then it starts to create women who decide THEY want to request a cesarean, because they think it is normal and safe.    I met a mom who was newly pregnant.  Being a childbirth educator I was asking about her plans.  She wanted to just have a cesarean.   I asked, “Is it because you are afraid of birth?” (which is the typical response I get when moms have said they WANT a cesarean)  Her answer was “No, because birth is gross.”

The scary thing is, depending on her care provider she may or may not be fully alerted to the risks of cesarean.

One OB who loves cesareans is going to say, “Great idea!”  and tell her only the positives and glosses over the risks.

Another OB would speak honestly about the benefits of vaginal birth for mom and baby and the risks associated with elective cesareans.  Then if after mom educates herself with this and other information she gathers she still wants a cesarean, I am fine with that choice.

I wouldn’t be fine with the choice if she had the first OB, because that isn’t really an informed choice at all.

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