Mary - posted on 05/08/2011 ( 34 moms have responded )
This article was on the front page of my paper this morning (I guess they found it topical for Mother's Day.) I would c&p the whole thing, but it is a bit lengthy. I found it...interesting.
I will put up a few excerpts, but I strongly encourage reading the whole article to get the big picture. Sadly, unless I want to pay for it, I cannot get (as yet) find an on-line link to the actual study, recently published in the American Journal of Perinatology.
The doctors found that women who planned C-sections were much more satisfied with their experiences than those who planned vaginal births — partly because more than a quarter of the latter group ended up with unplanned cesareans.
"...There is not enough evidence that we should offer everyone a C-section; we're not at that point," said Dr. Joan Blomquist, an obstetrician-gynecologist at GBMC, which has the fourth-busiest maternity department in Maryland.
"But for the right patient, it might be the right decision," said Blomquist, who was Cofiell's doctor. "At least we need to make sure they understand all the possibilities, that they don't have unrealistic goals."
The findings, reported in a recent issue of the American Journal of Perinatology, were surprising in that C-sections have been linked to higher rates of postpartum depression in past studies and vaginal births have been found to be more satisfying for mothers.
The research by Blomquist and Dr. Victoria Handa, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, grew out of a conference at the National Institutes of Health about the growing number of C-section requests. The officials wanted to know what women were expecting from cesareans, and they funded the doctors' investigation.
The study polled 160 women planning vaginal delivery and 44 planning C-sections. The women were asked eight weeks after delivery about their fulfillment, distress and difficulty. They rated their satisfaction with the childbirth experience on a scale from one to 100 and how they felt right after birth using descriptors such as "disappointed," "enthusiastic" and "cheated."
Those planning C-sections reported higher satisfaction, higher fulfillment and lower distress and difficulty, and a more favorable overall experience than those planning vaginal birth..."
Now, it does state in the article that part of the dissatisfaction experienced by those planning a vaginal birth occurred when the birth ended up being an unplanned c-section. It also talks to more than one OB who is NOT in favor of elective sections.
I do want to clarify that I think the purpose of this study was not to encourage purely elective sections, but rather to look at the general assumption that women who have a c-section have lower levels of satisfaction with their birth experience, feel "cheated", or are more likely to experience post partum depression. The big distinction (to me) is that they were exclusively looking at women who chose this form of birthing, as a separate entity, and not combining them with those who wanted a vaginal birth, but were unable to have one.
**Edit** Despite numerous attempts, I cannot make the link work. However, if you click on it, and type cesarean satisfaction in the search, it will come up.
Another link, which is not as informative is this