Do you think doctors are giving c-sections too often?

Keshia - posted on 04/05/2011 ( 262 moms have responded )

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I used to just hear about doctors giving c-sections only if there were complications and it was a last minute thing. But now I hear about them all the time. A lot of people I know have had them. What do you think?

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Joanna - posted on 04/10/2011

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Absolutely! 1 out of 3 women (33%) are giving birth by major abdominal surgery. Induction, epidurals and convenience are major factors in the unacceptable c-section rate. When inductions are performed before the baby or mom's body is not ready, and they fail, doctors just decide mom's body did not work, so they surgically remove the baby, rather than waiting until the baby was ready. Putting mom's on their back, restricting the natural motion of the pelvis and sacrum, causes babys to be "too big" or mom's pelvis "too small". Give mom an epidural, which slows contractions, then give her pitocin to speed them back up and stress out baby because the contractions are stronger than natural ones, and baby's in distress. Encourage and support women to allow their bodies to go into labor when they are ready. Get women out of the bed and allow them to birth in more effective positions. Support, educate and encourage women, and allow them to labor in ways that they don't need as much pain medication- using movement, water, doulas, etc.
Birth is not convenient. OB's should not expect women to birth during bankers hours. The fear of litigation and insurance should not govern women's and baby's well being. (many c-sections are done due to fear of lawsuits)
And in some cases women are demanding c/s because they don't want to birth vaginally for various reasons. Doctors should NEVER do a c/s for any reason that is not medically indicated.

Leslie - posted on 04/10/2011

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I had a C-section with my son, he head wa too big it fit far enough down to start hard contrations. My doctor told me I could be induced, but I chose to have a C-section. My logic was that there was a reason I hadnt had any contractions..and I was right. He was just to big for my small frame. If I have more, I will probably have a c-section with them too. I didnt a bad time with it. I believe most doctors want you to have a c-section birth instead of a natural after you have already had one, is because that area would not be as strong as it was and you have problems with your scar tissue. I think it is better to opt to plan a c-section if you know its high risk for vaginal and then end up with emergency c-section.

June - posted on 04/10/2011

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I think this a double barrelled problem, Doctors are ever mindful of being sued and lets face it you can charge far more for a c-section than you can for a straight vaginal birth. So it is safer and more profitable to recommend a c section which I think is a great pity as nature is pretty good at helping us to give birth.

Miriam - posted on 04/10/2011

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I do! At least in my country (Dominican Republic) most of the doctors tell their patients that's the best option. My friends used to say I was crazy everytime I said I wanted to have a natural birth. At the end I had a c-section, but still wonder if it was really necessary... It was horrible not be able to take care of my own baby, first days when I was recovering of the surgery.

Hannah - posted on 04/10/2011

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I would prefer to avoid it but it is much safer for Mom and baby to have a c-section. They can control every little thing that way. Even if it is major surgery. But that does not mean that you should just jump right into to it. I would always prefer to have a natural birth. I had to be induced with my first pregnancy but only because I went over my due date by 5 days. I think people are just on to strict of a schedule if they are asking to have c-sections or be induced early or on the due date. Just my opinion.

Kristy - posted on 04/10/2011

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My first was an emergency C-section. The 2 that came after were vaginal deliveries. I recommend the natural way. But, Iam not against drugs. Unfortunately I was unable to have any with my 3rd and it is very true that you do not remember the pain after the lil miracle is born.

Brittany - posted on 04/10/2011

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I really think they are used too much! I feel I was pressured into a csection. Only because my son would go back up after pushing. Thing was I wasn't tired yet, I still wanted to push.

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2011

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Well I have had 3 c/s. First was because my son was transverse breech. No way baby can fold in half and come out ya know so I am glad to have given birth wiht the technology to do so. My 2nd and 3rd were mandatory given my first. I could have found another that would probably let me try VBAC but I was not risking it.

[deleted account]

Meaghan - must be an aussie thing Marshall went the same way mind you i was at the notoriously bad Townsville General Hospital. we were lucky though only 5 days in NICU

Rebecca - posted on 04/10/2011

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I think that C-sections are being done to much. People don't realize that it is major surgery they are having. I know that I had to to have one at the last minute. With my second son my doctor told me to go ahead and try to go natural even though my first one was a C-section.

Judy - posted on 04/10/2011

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In my experience I couldn't dilate past 2.5 cm and I was already 2 weeks late with my first daughter, so I had an emergency c-section and with my second daughter, because of being in a higher risk category (age), I had a scheduled c-section, because I did not want to go through what I did for the first one.
I think if it is at all possible to have it naturally, then do so but I don't think people should have c-sections just because they are available or for the sake of having one. I took a long time to recouperate from the first one because I wasn't mentally and emotionally prepared as I was the second one.

Lori - posted on 04/10/2011

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Yes. one out of four women with have a c-section. Women are not getting the choice to have a Vbac. the maternal death rate is going up. We wanted painless child birth but at what cost? More and more c-sections, more epidurals, more interventions! scary time to have a baby. Women need to be more proactive in the birth choices!!!!

Adriane - posted on 04/10/2011

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Here in Brasil the common way of having a baby is by having a c-section. The best way for having a natural birth is to hire a midwife or go to a clinic that does natural birth.

Heather - posted on 04/10/2011

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Before they became so popular, the cesarean rate was 10%. WHO says it should never go above 15% in any area. The US average is 33%, which means that more than half are UNnecessary. It's not about being 'too posh to push', either. Most cesareans are iatrogenic and women are basically told or strongly implied that their cesarean was completely necessary when most are NOT and would never have happened if the doctor let things go the way it was supposed to.

My cesarean was iatrogenic, in fact. I had an easy VBAC with my second, basically proving that I just needed that extra hour to enter the pushing phase that was stolen from me.

[deleted account]

I agree I do think that c-section are offered up too much but then again I also think that depending on the birth and if its needed its needed.

I had a baby girl 7.5 months ago and was in labour for 4.5 days. My first stage of labour went on forever. I begged and pleaded with the dr's to give me a c-section, as I was in distressed and so was the baby but they would not cause I could still deliver naturally... My waters finally broke on the third night with medical intervention (sweep and stack of membrane) and then the 2nd stage took 17 hours, then another 2 hours and 15 minutes to push her out. She got stuck and need the suction cap and I tore really badly.

Minutes after her birth i was rushed into surgery cause placenta broke and lost over 2 litres of blood.. I'm only just getting over the labour now (7.5 months later).. In my case if the Dr's had given me the c-section, none of the above would of happen. If we have another one, same problems will happen again.

Christine - posted on 04/10/2011

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I have given birth with a doctor, a midwife, and both a doctor & midwife (doc was consulted after baby didn't seem to be descending) and have found that, in general, doctors are much more likely to suggest medical interventions earlier or try to talk you into it - drugs, epidural, c-section, etc. The midwives I have worked with are much more willing to be patient and work with your body. That being said, I think both the midwife and doctor were terribly disappointed when I ended up having my first c-section with my 5th child.

Meaghan - posted on 04/10/2011

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I'm in australia n had my almost 10 pound girl in a notoriously dodgy hospital south of sydney. After 31hrs of contractions, midwives never in the room n the good old "she'll b right" attitude, little penelope was sucked out n was beyond blue, she was grey n limp with no pulse or any signs of life. a c-sect might not b desirable but it probably would've saved us a LOT of stress n 2 weeks in intensive care n not being able 2 breast feed :(
Hopefully more luck with my son who's due in july :)

Jessica - posted on 04/10/2011

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I know more Moms who have had c-sections than vaginal births. However, every single one of those - including my own - was for a very specific, medical reason. Those reasons were always to protect the health of the baby, the mother, or both. The OB/GYN who delivered my daughter informed me that he had one of the highest c-section rates in the area, but also one of the lowest malpractice rates. If we hadn't moved so far away, I would still be his patient, ready for him to perform a second c-section on me in October. Would I have preferred a vaginal birth? Absolutely. But when he informed me that it was time for a c-section and why, I completely agreed.

Christina - posted on 04/10/2011

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I know! it is awful now a days! some hospitals have a highe than 33% c/s rate! they sometimes say a woman needs one when she doesn't.. then they make them have one every time threafter! very sad

Cynthia - posted on 04/10/2011

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I had a c section with my first bc it was an emergency he was about to die so some doctors still do them firvthe right reasons.... Now for my second I had a choice but other complications do arise if u already have had one and I don't believe all doctors are honest. My doctor was with my children being closer together... It was a fraction chance but a chance that I would split where she had cut me before. Which would cause additional complications and chance of death or not having anymore kids. Again this is a fractional complication but ones I read about and asked my doctor. My husband and I choose a 2 nd c section. I do know women that doctors let them pick I don't believe this is right. I also know a woman that had natural the first time and c section because of complications the 2 nd she said recovery is different but pain is the same. She did a c section with her 3 rd.

Lynette - posted on 04/10/2011

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YES! No question about it. Did you know that mothers who are induced are 50% more likely to end up w/ c-sections? Due dates are suposed to be give or take 2wks. Whenever I see that one of the people on my friends list is having an induction I wait for the I had an emergancy c-section post. Watch "Business of Being Born". And for more info on csections http://www.childbirth.org/section/ICAN.h...

[deleted account]

Vanessa - how is it lazy? some women do it because they've had a bad experience naturally before you do realise you don't get a medal if you spend 38 1/2 hours in labour then push for 3 hours? trust me i've done it



note to add: nobody cares how you had the baby so long as the baby is fine nobody is going to say "good job Vanessa you went natural" or "oh no you had ac-sec" or "shame on you for taking pain killing drugs" NOBODY CARES in fact i think the only reason people asked me if i ended up having a c-sec was because my labour was so long and complicated and not text book at all, in fact it was far from it and i actually got mixed looks of shock and horror that they would allow me to go so long and through such a difficult process despite my uterus not tipping forward despite the size of my son and all the rest. but i never got one medal for it nor did anyone congratulate me on going natural

Michelle - posted on 04/10/2011

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I have two children...one naturally and one through a c-section. I wouldn't wish the recovery of a c-section on my worst enemy, and people who deliberately choose a c-section are nuts. My son was delivered c-section because he was breech (coming butt first), and it was too dangerous to deliver him naturally. My midwife would never recommend c-sections unless absolutely necessary, and that is the way it should be!

Jackie - posted on 04/10/2011

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many doctors like c sections because the risk of complications are minimal compared to the many things that COULD go wrong during a vaginal delivery. Also, doctors push for c-sections more often because they can plan them and know when they're going to perform the operation instead of having to wait for us to go through labor. All moms should watch "Pregnant in America" ...it is by far the best pregnancy documentary I've ever seen.

Kimberley - posted on 04/10/2011

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I had a c-section after 2 and a half hours of pushing. My 8 lb 11 oz baby girl was turned sideways and was trying to come out that way. She got stuck. So I was actually given the option to keep pushing, try to turn her, or c-section. I chose c-section because even with an epidural, I was able to feel the contractions and especially in the groan area where her shoulder was pressing against bone. I have an option to do it vaginally next time, but only if it is a smaller baby. By the way, my daughter would not have been able to come out on her own. She had bruising on her arms where she was stuck. And until you have back labor, don't knock epidurals. Also, if epidurals are done right you can feel when to push because you feel pressure and none of the meds get to the baby. Also, I recovered from my c-section quicker than my friends who had babies vaginally. I didn't have any major discomfort while holding my baby to breastfeed. I had dissolvable stitches and not staples. However, i do regret not being able to hold my baby right after. God bless you women that can have natural births with quick labors, but that is not the case for some of us. We need to educate ourselves with options and what-ifs. What you want may not be what you get, except a healthy baby in the end which is the important thing.



However, I do not believe that women should be able to schedule c-sections for non-medical reasons because it is more convenient or whatever the reason. Such c-sections are not allowed at my hospital.

Kristi - posted on 04/10/2011

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It does seem like there are a lot more c-sections taking place, and I know I've heard of people being able to schedule their c-section at 39 weeks just out of convenience. You would think that would be an ethical risk for the doctors, but who knows. All I know is I can not imagine for the life of me REQUESTING a c-section. I had my first daughter completely naturally and vaginally, and my second I had to have a c-section... healing from the c-section was MISERABLE in comparison to the healing from the first delivery. It was WAY more painful for me, WAY longer, there are still tissue/skin/muscle irregularities from the c-section, and it's taken a heck of a lot more hard work to get back to a normal activity level for me. Now I imagine part of that was the 3 months of bedrest I was on prior to the c-section, I'm sure going from COMPLETELY sedentary to being basically but almost in half would lengthen recovery time a bit, but still. I would prefer to deliver vaginally any day.I can't imagine requesting a c-section just out of convenience.

Claire - posted on 04/10/2011

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I am in nursing school and the hospital I was at for labor and delivery and they were ridiculous!!! Practically every delivery was a c-section. And most of them weren't needed. I actually saw a doctor lie to the patient about why they needed a c-sec, and then tell the husband a completely different reason for why she needed it. And why? there was a basketball game gonna start soon that he wanted to see. which I think happens a lot. Doctors laziness has a lot to do with it, or their plans. I think midwifes are the way to go!!!! And some medical groups have them! Plus they have ways of progressing labor without drugs and surgery. My advice to you is to look up everything you can about the birthing process and know your rights. You have a right to say NO! And I am not saying no to all c-sections. Cause some are ABSOLUTELY necessary. Like with placenta previa....

Terri - posted on 04/10/2011

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I truly believe doctor's preform way too many C sections...Friends and I have discussed this many times, our children are in their 20's....Whether it be for "convenience" for Mom or to protect themselves against lawsuits, its a surgery that is totally unnecessary unless baby or mom are in distress......But its just my opinion..

Del - posted on 04/10/2011

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i think they do. tht is y with my second i went to a birth center and had a midwife. with my first i discused everything with my dr and said wht i wanted and the only way i would let the do one. induction is beter to me then a c section

Jaime - posted on 04/10/2011

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Hi there! As a registered nurse (and mother of 2) I definately think that Obstetricians are far too eager to perform cesarians these days! Just because you might have private health insurance shouldnt equate to women getting to 'elect' to have a c-section. Child birth is completely natural and healthy and shouldnt involve surgery. It increases chances of post partum complications. Of course this is not to say that there arent any complications when you deliver naturally as well.Obviously if there is an emergency or severe enough complications during the pregnancy, a cesarian section is sometimes necessary.
I couldnt imagine anything worse than having a newborn baby that you are trying to breastfeed, being sleep deprived and being groggy and completely sore from surgery. Moving around would be so uncomfortable. Then you have the chances of having a wound infection.
everyone has a different opinion, but I just think its completely unecessary unless there is an emergency during labor Or severe complication during pregnancy. If women elect to have a caesar so they dont have to feel the pain of contractions or have their uterus stretched, then they shouldnt have gotten pregnant in the first place!

Shannon - posted on 04/10/2011

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I think the statistic is about 25%, but it sure seems like more! I was in a group of 20 women and all in our late 20's early 30's with otherwise healthy pregnancies and 10 of us ended having up with emergency c-sections. On the operating table the OB on call even said this is the 5th I've done tonight. How comforting....Urgh, I hate being a statistic

Stacey - posted on 04/10/2011

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This is an annoying conversation..might as well talk about breast feeding, politics and religion...everyone has their opinions on these, but we don't always want to hear it...

Lisa - posted on 04/10/2011

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I'd want a second opinion. It does seem like there has been an increase in routine c-sections, but at the same time when it is obvious that either the mother or baby is in distress Dr.s should not pussy foot around and add to the risk of life

Lisa - posted on 04/10/2011

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I heard that they hospital and doctirs can do more c-sections since they are and/or can be scheduled verses the waiting on it to happen natuarally.....it takes longer to recover, it took me 8 weeks but the c-section could not be avoided.....I'm blessed and happy to have her either way with the scar to prove it. I think I cheated child birth the natural way.....who knows it must have been all for the best in God's eyes.......

Chris - posted on 04/10/2011

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Absolutely. I don't think doctors give a womans body a chance. There is such a rush for everything. And I hate "Well, the doctor knows what he/she is doing." It's your body listen to it.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 04/10/2011

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My mother in law had placenta previa when she was pregnant with my husband so she had to have a c-section with him. Then 2 years later when she was in labour with my older brother in law she was told that since it was so close to the last one she had to have a c-section again. But that was also over 25 years ago so maybe some things have changed.
I delivered both my girls naturally. But my 2nd one had a lot of complications and my BP was so high they had me pushing before I was fully dialated. I think they may have given me one if I didn't get her out soon.
I know some people have c-sections when they have multiple births because many OBs don't know how to deliver more than one baby safely.

Vanessa - posted on 04/10/2011

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i fairly a medical condition called hydrocephalus, and i was told i wasn't allowed a c-section unless it was absolutely nessary, yet people that don't have medical conditions are having c-sections because of pure lazyness.

Karen - posted on 04/10/2011

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I thin there are reasons why someone needs a c-section. Some reasons are life threatening. I gave birth to my daughter vaginally but I could see the reason behing a possible c-section. My daughter was 10lbs. 7 oz. They almost had to break her clavicle to get her out. Thank God they got her out with no fractures. I really think it depends upon each situation.

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2011

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I am a child birth professional and I can say honestly in the area I am in that OB's overdo C-sections. One of our hospitals here has a 50% CS rate. It is really sad that so many women have to go through such major surgery.

[deleted account]

When I was pregnant with my first, I was the first of about 6 women to go into labor and deliver (emergency c due to footling breech). As it then turned out, 2 friends and my sister in law who were all due within 6 months of my daughter also had C's. In all 3 cases, they tried to turn the babies. From what I heard and what my closest friend said - I didn't want any part of that. It was a miserable experience. However, I wish I'd know my baby had turned (I had suspicions but being my first, I didn't know - I expected my dr to know!)

I believe "finishing touches" are put on babies through the birthing process. My neo-natal nurse even said this was the case with the baby going through the birthing canal (none of my 3 ever saw that). Of my 3 girls, the one that was a "scheduled C" (12 days past her due date), she's the biggest basket case! hahaha She's the one with the most fears, most issues, etc. I say often enough "THAT is why you don't have scheduled Cs!" Love her and all my girls to death but the scheduled C is what I believe makes her so different than the other 2. My step daughters were also scheduled Cs. Their mother never labored with them. With one, she was overdue. With the 2nd, she just went for the C (part of it was fear of birthing, part of it was area OBs saying "once a C, always a C" and she chose to believe it). She has since had a 3rd via scheduled C. Can't wait to see how he turns out.! But the 2 have A LOT of issues AND allergies.

Kesandra - posted on 04/10/2011

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I have twin boys and having a C is almost always the case with twins. Mine however was emergency not protocol and im pretty disappointed. The recovery time was REALLY stressful trying to care for two newborns and fellow my recovery care instructions. I also feel like I missed an important part of the process. It was too simple, even though I love my boys more than anything in the universe I feel like I got kind of gypt on the sense of accomplishment that comes with natural birth.

Karen - posted on 04/10/2011

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I agree with you all. I think they do too many c-sections. I think it really depends on your doctor.

[deleted account]

I think dr's are too eager. I saw that and I've had THREE. My first was because my daughter was breech and it was not discovered until I was in labor. The second was because I had already had 1 C and she was already 12 days past due. My OB was more than willing for me to try VBAC and gave me plenty opportunity to do so (12 days - originally he said he wouldn't let me go more than 7 days overdue). She ended up being 9+ lbs and I never would have been able to deliver her anyways. My 3rd, I did go into labor with her (I refused to do the "standard 7 days before the due date scheduled C"). She was technically 1 day past her due date but 1 day before the scheduled C. After 2 C's, VBAC is not an option. So, where I feel like me and my OB tried to avoid a C, it was inevitable. With my 2nd, I had an OB that was not onboard with me going VBAC (different OB from my first baby). I changed OBs that was supportive.

But I too hear all the time about women having C's. Around here, OBs are telling women that once they have a C, that is all they can do. I've also heard that OBs are telling women that they shouldn't have more than 2 Cs. Women are buying in to this, unfortunately. With the internet, women should be able to do more research on their own and work with their OB to avoid unnecessary Cs.

I think sometimes it's the dr not wanting to taking any risks with childbirth but Cs are just as risky with the major surgery.

Andrea - posted on 04/10/2011

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UK has a 25% cesarean rate. I agree some doctors do it for money or convienence but I also think some do it because they are experienced. I had labored for 20 hours....also being given pitocin since I was not progressing. After hour 19 I had an epidural, I was only at 4cm and still needed a cesarean, just wanted a clear head before I made that desicion. Hard to concentrate with contractions on top of another for all that time!

Jolene - posted on 04/10/2011

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I had a c-section and it was planned because my daughter was breached...I also think that the lord new that i wasnt physically able to push a baby out of my body. My mother was also able to be there. Not sure if this answers your question but thats my answer. :)

Tiffany - posted on 04/10/2011

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I think that the doctors do play the well you can schedule this and chose your baby's birth date card a little to much and many of them let patients schedule before the 39th week which can cause complications with baby depending on how early they let them schedule.

Andrea - posted on 04/10/2011

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Hello! I had mine after 20 hours of labor because my daughter was not moving down. Then since I got pregnant with my second baby 2 months later, I had to have a scheduled csection (the dr informed me that I was at greater risk of uterine rupture since my incision never had time to heal). I actually just did a research paper for my med terminology class on csections. It may seem like alot of women are having csections because about 30% of women in the US deliver that way. However elective csections due occur but they are not common. Most of the time there is a reason for the csection, could be anything from an STD, Heart disease, fetal weight anything that could affect the mother or baby during vaginal birth. Repeat csections are usually recommended in a hospital that does not have round the clock surgical staff incase the mother needs an emergency csection. The World Health Organization would actually like to see only 10-15% of babies delivered this way.

Margaret - posted on 04/10/2011

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I had the first as an emergency caesar as I didn't dilate more than 2cms after 11 hours - I had been induced (surprise, surprise! babies KNOW when they're ready) and her foetal heart was in distress - because I found recovery so easy (I stood up straight away instead of hunching over for 3 months or more - a little pain for a LOT of gain, BELIEVE me!) - I therefore opted to have the NEXT 2 babies by Caesarean as well - am I glad? Yes, Yes and YES! - No stitches down THERE - no interruptions to marital relations (making BOTH Mummy and Daddy happy) no haemorrhoids, no bladder leakage etc etc

- the only downside was a belly that was a bit distended over the bikini line scar - but hey - that's NOTHING compared to what I witnessed with other mothers! - My kids and freinds all laugh when I say "if I'd known Caesareans were so easy - I would have had a zipper put in and had 12 babies!" Margaret (Brisbane, Australia)

Pamela - posted on 04/10/2011

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I always hear about pain for a long time after a C but I was pain free and without any meds including Tylenol after about a week with both of mine. Again, everyone is different and I think those are usually the wimps. lol Ithink like, you Wendy, that many of these are first timers and just cannot handle the thought of the vaginal birth and labor pains. I thought labor was a breeze and akin to bad cramps. But then, I have had very bad ones since the onset at 13. I was given the choice of a v-bac but I skipped it knowing there was a great chance I would have the same issue and I spoke to several other docs about it. I had gall bladder surgery last december and I will say the pain prior, for me at least, was worse than labor. And I even told the docs so. They laughed.
Too many women worry about convenience for themselves and there is too much pressure on the docs with their malpractice ins. and suits too.

Wendy - posted on 04/10/2011

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Hi - I agree, we hear about more and more c-sections given on demand.
I have a theory though, which would be interesting to confirm (or not).
That most of these 'on-demand' c-sections are being opted for by first timers.
A c-section, even though it results in a bundle of joy, is a major operation. Recovery time is anything up to 2-3 months, and I mean you are in pain, you are uncomfortable etc.
Then, once you have chosen to have the op for the first one, it is more and more risky to have a natural labour with the weakened abdominal walls.
All my children (3) were natural birth, and only on the 1st one did we have time for an epidural.
Recovery time for #1 & 3= around 2-3 weeks until I no longer had any discomfort
Number #2 - my son - 7days :).
I do not think that the women who opt for this surgery either for their own or their doctor convenience truely grasp the decision they are making - because if they did, natural with/without painkillers would be their choice.

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