Friday, February 20, 2009

The Trouble with Repeat Cesareans

Time Magazine has an article about women being forced into having repeat cesareans. It's eye-opening and a fair portrayal of the reality. You can read the article here. I have some things to point out after reading it.

The last line of the piece quotes a doctor saying, "When the problems with multiple C-sections start to mount, we're going to look back and say, 'Oh, does anyone still know how to do VBAC?'"

What?! A doctor doesn't do a VBAC. A VBAC is simply a vaginal birth. Women do that. And we've known how to do it since Eve, thankyouverymuch.

I also want to point out the sobering numbers mentioned in the article. Of the hospitals with a labor and delivery unit, 28% of those have outright VBAC bans and 21% have de facto bans, meaning that though the hospital doesn't prohibit VBACs there are no doctors who will attend them. That's 49%! Almost half of the hospitals in this country force women into surgery. Half of them force women to allow their babies to be cut from their wombs. HALF--that's a large number.

Someone wrote on my facebook wall today, “I love the link that you posted about VBACs-- I would hate to be forced to have another operation”

See, a huge part of this problem is twofold: first, most women don’t realize that doctors are forcing mothers into operations and second, women don’t know they don’t have to be forced into surgery!

Mothers, it’s time we realize that we are not only consumers of Big Macs, Britax carseats, diapers and breast pumps. We are consumers in the health care industry as well! The control lies in our hands. We make the demands and call the shots, if we believe we do. Our mothers are the reason we are no longer knocked out and “delivered” of our babies by forceps. Let our daughters be the ones to say that their mothers are the reason they are no longer bullied into unnecessary, unwanted surgeries, tied to metal tables, drained of blood and motherhood.

I am pregnant, not pathology. Refuse to be a womb pod!

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Anonymous said...

Well said!!

(I also noticed the "doctors doing VBACs" quote, which irritated me. But then, I get irritated when I read about "doctors delivering babies" and just the word "delivery" in connection with birth, in general.) :-)


Stassja said...

Well put! I read another article yesterday about Dr's using ultrasound to measure thickness of scar tissue so THEY could "decide" whether a woman was a good candidate for VBAC. Uh yeah, NOT your choice, Captain PHD. Get the hell out of my freedom to choose, thanks. The article was interesting but the Doctor worshipping tone really made me want to puke.

Anonymous said...

interesting that the last Grey's Anatomy episode was all about doctors being Gods. even though they're just human and make mistakes, the patient has to think that they know what they're doing, and are God's.

even one of the older general sugery docs, was forced into retirement because she made a mistake.
she stood there, looking over her OR and told the resident..."this was MY OR.. in this OR, i was a GOD."

kind of made me sick.

Jill said...

UGH! It makes my blood boil! If they don't want to do VBACs then STOP DOING SO MANY FUCKING CESAREANS!!! Sorry for the profanity but GOD I can only say it so many times before I start to get really pissed off!