While cesarean sections are often medically necessary, they sometimes carry with them emotional tolls for mothers who want to deliver their babies naturally. Women who have brought their babies into the world via cesarean report feelings of loss, failure, and helplessness, as well as delayed bonding with their infants and an overwhelming sense that they have been violated.
Despite the immense emotional impact cesarean deliveries can have for mothers, recent cases suggest that doctors are swaying, bullying, and even forcing women into agreeing to deliver their babies by cesarean. If you're pregnant and your doctor is pushing for a surgical delivery, the following information is for you.
The Rate Of Babies Delivered Via Cesarean Is Rising
In 1965, 4.5 percent of pregnant women required cesarean sections to birth their child. By 2014, that number had risen to 32.2 percent. Why such a steep climb? It depends on who you ask. Most doctors and healthcare professionals insist that the increased number of cesareans can be attributed to an uptick in mothers requesting them, an increase in the average age of birthing mothers (older women are prone to more birth-related complications), and more instances of multiple births.
Other theories, however, suggest that the United States is experiencing a cesarean boom because it's easier for doctors to schedule their days around surgery than it is for them to lay in wait for expecting mothers to go into labor. Profit margin might also come into play; the cost to have your baby delivered by cesarean is higher than the cost to deliver naturally.
One thing is for certain -- the reason for the growing number of cesarean sections being performed in the United States is not because they're better for the mothers and babies undergoing them. Leading obstetric societies agree that there are no clear benefits that have accompanied the increase in surgical baby deliveries.
Cesarean Sections Pose Health Risks To Both You And Your Baby
If your doctor is pushing you to get a cesarean, they've likely mentioned that your pregnancy is at increased risk for one reason or another. They may have told you that you have pregnancy-induced high blood pressure, that you're older and therefor face a more complicated natural delivery, or that your baby is getting too big and is therefore prone to getting stuck in the birth canal.
Keep in mind, though, that cesareans carry risks of their own. Such risks include excessive blood loss, infections, and blood clots for mothers. Babies delivered by cesareans risk premature birth (if the cesarean is scheduled too early), lacerations, oxygen deprivation, and Erb's palsy. Furthermore, studies have linked cesarean births to children's development of asthma, diabetes, and obesity later in life.
It's Your Body, It's Your Say
Whose job is it to weigh the risks associated with your child birth? Can you doctor really demand that you have a cesarean section, despite your wish for a natural birth? The answer is no; in most cases, it is up to you to evaluate your options and decide what procedure you feel is the best way to bring your newborn baby into the world. Your doctor may offer you advice and guidance, but they cannot make final decisions concerning your body when you are in a perfectly fine state to do so for yourself.
According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, appellate courts strongly believe that women's autonomy trumps all; pregnant women should be able to decide the manner in which they give birth, regardless of presumed consequences to their fetuses.
More and more women are giving birth by cesarean delivery, and it's not always their choice. If you suspect your doctor is pressuring you to have an unnecessary and unwanted cesarean delivery, try to find a doctor who values your opinion and is willing to allow you to attempt vaginal birth. If a cesarean is performed on you in error and/or against your will, gather all your medical records and visit a personal injury lawyer. By not respecting your wishes, your doctor has violated their standard of care, and you're entitled to seek compensation for all personal injuries you endured as a result of that violation, including emotional pain and suffering.