A Woman’s View: C-sections

Today, having a ceasarean section during delivery is more of an option for women than ever before. A c-section is a surgical procedure performed to remove a baby from its mother’s womb, and is usually performed when a vaginal delivery would put the baby’s or mother’s life or health at risk, although it has been also performed upon request for deliveries that could otherwise have been natural.

There are many women who think the modern convenience of c-sections is being overly used for the sole purpose for the mother’s wanting less work and no pain.  There are also those who take the other side of the debate saying that a c-section is often necessary and easier.

The World Health organization recommends the the rate of c-sections performed within a country not exceed 15 percent. Contrary to popular belief, Julius Caesar was not the founder of such a procedure and it is not named after the emperor at all.

The procedure is speculated to come from an old Roman legal code called “Lex Caesarea,” which is said to have taken place only if the mother was predicted to die during child birth.  The procedure would then be enforced in an attempt to save the unborn child, and usually at the will of the mother.

The survival rate of children born this way was quite successful, however, the mother would almost never survive. The first recorded successful c-section performed where a mother lived was in the 1500s in Switzerland.  Up until this time, the c-section was considered an extreme measure and not usually performed unless death of the mother had already taken place or was very close upon her.

Some of the reasons for the current rate of success could be attributed to technological and medical advances like antibitotics, heart monitors and blood transfusions. In 2000, the mortality rate for c-sections in the United States was 20 per 1,000,000. But there are still many complications and risks which should be fully discussed with a doctor before hand.

When I asked Northeast women what they thought about c-sections, I was surprised to learn that the majority of females consulted were against c-sections unless an extreme case was presented.

“I think women today abuse the c-section just because they don’t want the pain,” Dianne said. “Honestly, I have three kids all-natural, which nature allowed, and I would rather have the pain of child birth than have someone move my major organs around.”

Of course, not all mothers would feel the same way, and many who did also felt that c-sections were a great option where there was an extreme risk.

“Hey, I say cut me open and yank the little bugger out,”  Said Anastayia, a new-mom-to-be.  “I am due in March and I don’t want to have to deal with pushing and blood and stretching. No, not for me.  I have a planned c-section all ready to go and hopefully I won’t feel a thing.”

Be advised that recovery time for a c-section that had no complications could take between four to five days just in the hospital, whereas a natural birth would have a one or two day recovery time.

Whichever method you decide works best for you should be addressed with your OB/GYN before you pursue the idea further.  During your consultation with the OB/GYN feel free to ask as many questions and address any and all concerns you have. Be sure you are doing what is best for your body and your baby.

Note: Columnist Donna Ward is not a doctor, and does not hold a medical degree.

A Woman’s View is a column about women’s issues written by Donna Ward. The column appears every other Thursday on NEastPhilly.com. See others here. Read other NEastPhilly columns here.

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