Monday, June 1, 2009

Why not just schedule a C-section?

I realize this is a very personal choice and there are risks with both but after doing my research and learning about how there are more risks with a c-section I personally would never just schedule one. I explained before too that the only way for me to know if I could do it was to try.

Most women will be successful with the VBAC---80%. Even though my midwives never used a scoring system with me, I read that some doctors use a scoring system to try to figure out the likelihood of the patient ending up with a vaginal birth. The scoring goes from 0 (least likely) to 10 (most likely). This might be helpful but again I would be careful because of course it isn't always correct. Just because a doctor gives you a low likelihood score does not mean you can't succeed. The studies found that half the group that scored 0-2 still were able to have a VBAC.

So if the high success rate doesn't encourage you to try for a VBAC instead of just scheduling surgery there are a lot of other reasons I personally would not want a repeat c-section. Here is what the research shows:

  • There are increased physical problems for mothers: Compared to a vaginal birth, c-sections have increased risks for many physical problems from mild to severe. These problems include hemorrhage (severe bleeding), need for transfusion, blood clots, injury to other organs, bowel obstruction (due to scarring and adhesions from the surgery), anesthesia complications, scar tissue, longer-lasting and more severe pain, infection, increased risk of hysterectomy, psychological complications and maternal mortality 2-4x greater than vaginal birth.
  • Longer Hospital stays: Usually women need to stay longer in the hospital after a c-section and takes a lot longer to recover as well.
  • More expensive: C-sections cost a lot more even with having insurance. Average cost is twice the amount of a vaginal birth.
  • Issues with emotional well-being: I already mentioned how this can take a toll on your overall mental health and how after a c-section women are more likely to experience depression and even post traumatic disorder. She is also more likely to rate a birth experience poorer than a woman who has had a vaginal birth.
  • Mother-baby relationship: You usually don't get the chance to hold your baby until quite a while after surgery as compared to usually immediately after a vaginal birth. Even though I never experienced this many women have a harder time bonding with their baby.
  • Breastfeeding: Many times the recovery from surgery can cause challenges with breastfeeding and delays immediate breastfeeding along with having your milk come in later. I remember being in so much pain it was difficult to even find a position that was bearable.
  • Effects on babies: Studies have shown that many c-section babies experience added difficulties as well. Such as having breathing difficulties, greater chance of developing asthma and also being cut during the surgery, though usually mild. Also there is more chance that the baby is not ready to come out out yet when a c-section is done early and has issues concerning prematurity.
  • Impact on any future pregnancies: Some research suggests babies born after multiple c-sections are more likely to be preterm, have low birth weight, along with more serious and deadly complications. With each surgery there is more scar tissue which makes things more difficult as well. There is also higher rates of infertility, miscarriages and ectopic pregnancy.
So many times women are told how dangerous VBACs are and are encouraged to just have another c-section making it seem like there are not risks involved. As you can see there are many risks concerning c-sections and I think all doctors should carefully go over these with their patients.
***Most of this information was found on the and websites

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