There was a recent article in Mothering Magazine (Nov/Dec 2003…pg. 6) by Peggy O’Mara, publisher and editor of the magazine, that details the current alarming trend in America towards c-sections…we’ve reached an all-time high of over 26%! To put this in perspective, that’s more than 1 in 4 women! The World Health Organization says that an acceptable c-section rate would be between 10 and 15%. Ms. O’Mara says this about the current sad facts in our country regarding c-section:
“Reluctantly, I blame the mothers. I blame women when we don’t expect more of ourselves. I blame women when we believe we have a limited capacity. I blame women for being immobilized by cultural myths about birth…”
I have to say, also reluctantly, that I agree with her. If we, mothers, as a whole, educated ourselves better on birth…we’d be less inclined to blindly believe what our doctors tell us…we’d know that many of the interventions that are routine are not only not usually necessary, but can actually be damaging…and frequently lead to the downward spiral of interventions that so often ends in c-section. And going by statistical facts, so many c-sections are not actually necessary…so many are a result of all those interventions, and the general attitude in the medical community of birth being an illness, not a natural event. So if we, as mothers, trusted our bodies and knew our facts about normal birth…we wouldn’t stand for all the unnecessary procedures that can set us up for c-sections! If we were more educated as a whole…we would demand that our babies be born the way nature intended, the way our bodies were designed…But instead, those of us who do this are a minority in American society, and often viewed as weirdos! Because we want to do what our bodies were intended to do!! Imagine that!! What are we, nuts?
Now, I am not of the mindset that doctors are evil conspirators out to get us. But I do believe that they do not always have or give out correct information…knowingly or unknowingly, its still a common thing to get advice from doctors that is NOT based on scientific research. They just recently had a show on Oprah called “Outrageous Medical Mistakes” in which Dr. Sanjay Gupta said that a lot of the advice doctors dole out is anecdotal…not based on research, but based on their own experiences, or what they’ve heard from other doctors. This is not representative of births overall, but just on the tiny percentage they deal with (in the scheme of things…looking at the big picture here). He also said that the doctors that are more recently out of medical school will often be better educated on current research, as the more experienced doctors don’t always keep up with the current research…and many don’t even know that they don’t have correct info!
I’ve lost count of how many stories I’ve heard that showed how true this is…particularly in regards to birth. So many stories of false info given to patients by doctors…many with very sad results. And if you haven’t educated yourself, you don’t know that what they are telling you is false. Very annoying that the patients have to keep the doctors in line…after all, they are the ones that went to medical school! But the fact of the matter is that they don’t always know what they are talking about, unfortunately. And you won’t know this if you don’t do your own research.