Tuesday, February 19, 2008

VBA multiple C

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:


womantowomancbe said...

I thought you might like this link, which is a comment Dr. Amy wrote some time ago on a blog in which she bemoaned the demise of VBACs, and said that it's pushing women to UNNECESSARY repeat C-sections! Enjoy. :-)

On this blog (http://healthypolicy.typepad.com/blog/2006/01/on_the_defense_.html) another comment on C-sections: "

Your comment may actually prove my point. The fact is that VBACs were considered safe until a few years ago. That's because the very small risk of uterine rupture (which has been known all along) is now deemed legally indefensible. Because of legal concerns, the VBAC rate has fallen from 28% to 9% in the last 8 years. This is probably the biggest single reason that the C-section rate is almost an outrageous 30%.

Initially, VBACs were not allowed. Research done in the early 1980's indicated that they were significantly safer than previously thought (because of changes in the type of incision, etc.) The VBAC rate rose precipitously and that was a good thing. Then came the lawsuits for ruptured uterus, which was always acknowledged to be a known complication.

Actually the suits were not because of VBACs per se. The allegations were made that VBACs were unsafe unless an anesthesiologist and the attending obstetrician were physically present to perform an emergency C-section in the very unlikely event that a uterine rupture occured. In response, many hospitals (in an effort to protect themselves from legal exposure) now require the attending obstetrician to be physicially present through labor (which could last 20 hours or more). This is not feasible for the average obstetrician, so VBAC is essentially impossible in those hospitals.

The end result is that many women who want a VBAC, even women who have had a successful VBAC in the past, cannot have one and are forced to have a medically unnecessary surgical procedure. These women are denied appropriate medical care because of legal concerns. That's just one of the pernicious effects of defensive medicine."
# posted by Blogger Amy Tuteur, MD : 9:49 PM

Susana said...

Thank you very much for taking the time to provide this helpful info. Look forward to hearing from you again sometime!