A very sweet friend of mine had given birth 3 times via c-section. She longed to birth vaginally at home for many reasons. One of which is she was totally disgusted by the doctor's bantering about a cow while delivering her baby. She felt it was so far removed from normal birth. She longed to push a baby out and truly experience birth. She conceived and desired a homebirth, but wasn't able to overcome fear and the physical issues that present themselves after having had so many c-sections. She delivered once again via c-section.
Most people today think that hospital birth is that safest place to birth a baby. There are risks to birth no matter where you are. C-section is one of the risks of hospital birthing. Yes, I said RISK! It carries with it risks to the mother and baby's health and very lives. And unfortunately, doctors believe that "once a cesarean, always a cesarean." Now-a-days, ONE in THREE women will get a c-section!
What does this mean for the woman who wants a large family? When she goes in to the hospital to give birth the first time and due to one intervention leading to another, she ends up with a c-section. This means that thereafter she will likely face a cesarean EVERY time she gives birth!
On Our Bodies Our Blog, there is a post entitled, "What Do These Articles Say About Cesarean Section?" The author discusses the results of two studies about c-sections and makes this statement:
Maternal morbidity increases with each c-section if you look at problems such as need for ICU admission and certain injuries; mortality does not appear to be affected. The authors suggest that their findings should be considered by women planning large families as they investigate their birth options, which seems like a reasonable use of the data.
This message needs to get out to women! So many young women are finding themselves having a cesarean with their first births and then have to face repeated cesareans after that. This is very damaging to women and families.
A young woman at church, probably not yet in her 30's, just adopted a child. I asked her why they chose to adopt. She said that after four cesareans the scar tissue prevents her from having more children. Both she and her husband come from families with more than 8 children. Adoption is a blessing, both to the family and the child, but imagine the grief this woman has gone through emotionally and physically, to not be able to have any more children.
Cesareans need to be prevented and avoided. Fortunately, for those who have undergone a c-section there is hope. Although doctors are increasingly resisting VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) and instead are demanding one cesarean after another, many women have accomplished VBAC's and even Vaginal birth after MULTIPLE c-section, both at home and in the hospital.
Check out the ICAN website which hosts this montage: