Caesarian Births More Popular Than Ever

Caesarian section births are becoming more and more of the thing to do in United States, with a larger contingency of pregnant mothers opting for the procedure over vaginal births every year.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports recently released figures for 2008 say 32.3 percent of births that year were C-sections, marking the 12th consecutive year of the figure has increased.

As a father who has endured two traditional births, I’m envious of husbands whose wives have gone the C-section route. I imagine it’s much, much easier on us, freeing us up to read books or play DS games while the surgeons do their thing. It’s really all about us, so women should be more considerate when selecting their birth plans.

If you’ve had a child, which way did you go and why?

C-sections hit record high [Chicago Sun-Times via Fark]

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  1. JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

    can they do a tummy tuck after they cut the baby out? cuz i wants me one of those.

    • Julia789 says:

      Nope. I checked with a few plastic surgeons before my c-section. They can’t do it at the same time.

      Your middle is still so swollen from the pregnancy that they can’t remove much skin at all. Even if they did, the results would be wobbly and crooked once your belly shrank fully.

      They suggest waiting one year after birth for your body to recover fully and return to normal, and only then if you’re sure you’re not having any more children.

      If you have a tummy tuck and have more children, your next pregnancy may rip open the internal permanent stiches they use to sew the muscles together, which will be very very painful and can cause internal bleeding. It will also stretch your skin all over again, ruining a very expensive surgery.

      There is the option of doing a mini-tummy tuck, which has no internal stiches, but still your skin may get stretched beyond recognition during your next pregnancy (unless you have extremely elastic skin, but in which case you wouldn’t need a tummy tuck to begin with.)

      Tummy tuck is $7,000 – $20,000 depending on where you live in the U.S. so wait until you’re SURE you will not be pregnant again (get tubes tied, etc.) Don’t want to pay for that twice.

      They CAN do it at the same time as a hysterectomy. That is common. Many hospitals will coordinate it with their affiliated plastic surgeon. Your insurance pays for the hysterectomy and you pay for the tummy tuck.

      • JennyCupcakes misses her grandson says:

        Ah, so THAT’S why they always put that caveat on there about not getting pregnant. Here I thought that it was just because it would stretch out the skin and make the tummy tuck useless.

  2. jesirose says:

    It’s because doctors try to force women to get C-sections. The mothers don’t OPT to have one. They’re either in serious danger and need it, or have been lied to by their doctor (who is probably an idiot).

    • stock2mal says:

      Agreed. The number of doctors inducing labor because they don’t want to cancel plans when the baby is due to arrive naturally is way up as well.

      • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

        Do you have evidence for this?

        • alSeen says:

          Probably nothing you will accept, but it is pretty common. There are all sorts of reasons (few of them medical) that doctors are pushing csections.

          Who wants to be pulled out of bed at 3am and sit with a woman in labor for 8 hours when they can schedule an operation for 10am and be done in 40 minutes (if that).

          • uberbitter says:

            If they don’t want to be on call, they shouldn’t be doctors (and definitely not obstetricians).

            • jesirose says:

              That would make sense now wouldn’t it?

            • NickelMD says:

              And my other favorite…. if nurses didn’t want to be spit at or pissed on, they shouldn’t have gone to nursing school. Nice that you think that health care providers give up the right to a healthy career when they enter training.

              Though the alternative to call (having physicians rotate through shifts in L&D, or use of hospitalists when patients are admitted to the hospital) also pisses people off. People want their physician (in this case, their OB) to have open clinic hours on a convenient basis and have their OB available 24/7 when they finally give birth… because heaven forbid that another physician be there for delivery.

              So to be an OB, you have to be willing to work an 8-6 job daily, then be on call 24/7 for the rest of your life. (Oh, and heaven forbid that your OB want to spend time with her children, or go on a vacation with her family. Ever.)

              • LadyTL says:

                Alot of people want to have their doctor on call is because the other doctors don’t bother to even read their chart before diving in which often causes more problems than it helps, i.e. medical allergies, health conditions that can interfere.

              • uberbitter says:

                I have no problem with my GP, dermatologist, podiatrist, etc. having an answering service for off hours, or having any doctor go on vacation because they make arrangements for such circumstances, but when you sign up to be an OB, you have to understand that babies are going to come at their own convenience, not the mother’s, not the father’s, and not the doctor’s. I am sure as hell not going to schedule a more-than-likely unnecessary procedure because a doctor might be inconvenienced.

          • jesirose says:

            “Who wants to be pulled out of bed at 3am and sit with a woman in labor for 8 hours when they can schedule an operation for 10am and be done in 40 minutes (if that).”

            Midwives.

        • suzieq says:

          The book Pushed by Jennifer Block has the stats in it. I’d look them up for you but I gave my copy to my Bradley Method instructor.

          http://www.amazon.com/Pushed-Painful-Childbirth-Modern-Maternity/dp/0738211664/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1292945645&sr=8-1

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      This.
      Even 17 years ago, when I was in high school, the health teacher said that doctors were getting so bad about the recommendations that (in her words) “they’ll make you get a c-section if you have a hangnail”.

    • outoftheblew says:

      Having a doctor misinform a woman about her need for a c-section doesn’t negate a woman’s job to inform herself. But I agree that c-sections are overused in America. They’re considered convenient, but turn a relatively minor medical event into major surgery with a longer recovery.

      • jesirose says:

        Agreed. There’s so many other things OBs do that make me angry though. The women trust these doctors to be on their side, and they don’t realize how wrong they are.

        Women need to educate themselves, but it’s hard when they don’t know what other resources there are besides their doctors.

        • jessjj347 says:

          I’ve read a lot of research about public health, and one of the issues is that most people don’t know how to find reliable medical information online. They judge the quality of medical information on websites by their affiliations with other trustworthy sources, easy to understand information, well-designed websites, etc. Rarely do people look at disclaimers that websites make, information about the authors of the information, or other such important things.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Although I agree, this isn’t supposed to be an issue. A doctor is supposed to be giving up then options, and explain the pros and cons of each. They should be “telling” us we are getting a C-section when it’s not medically neccesary.

    • bigeasye865 says:

      or b/c they are having an 11 1/1 lb baby like my wife did. No chance that kid was coming out the chute

      • pythonspam says:

        I was 10lbs 8 oz and came out the real way. It might have taken me a bit longer, but I got out just fine.

        • uberbitter says:

          Perhaps the size of your mother’s cervix was a tad larger than the woman with the bigger baby. Not all womens’ bodies are the same!

        • Elphaba says:

          Trust me, my 2 pound 13 ounce premature daughter also came out a very “real: way. I’ll show you my incision if you want proof she was “really” born.

          I’m so glad I’m a fake mother because I didn’t squeeze her out via my vagina, which would have killed her. There is no “real” way to be born, there is just different methods of birth.

      • jesirose says:

        … Which is the case of “they need it”. Although, they really DON’T for a large baby in most cases. Just because the baby is large isn’t a need. But if it IS…then it is! And I covered that.

      • Spider Jerusalem says:

        I was 40 hours of labor before they cut my mom open. It turns out her hips can’t deal with our father’s head genes. My younger sister was a scheduled C-section. Not because she couldn’t wait, but because there was no chance of VBAC at the time, and she’d rather have it done without the added stress of labor.

        My husband’s friend’s wife is one of those anti-c-section people. She ended up having her daughter two months early, weighing less than 5 lbs, and placed herself firmly in the “See? Vaginal isn’t so hard. People complain SO much.” category.

      • madfrog says:

        Yes and No. My best friend had 2 sons, one 12lbs, one 13. She had both of them vaginally. She was in labor a total of 3 hours combined, pushed like 4 times, and shot those kids across the room. It depends on your body frame and what you can handle. She’s a tall girl(5’9″), but not heavy by any means. Guess she just naturally had some birthing hips or something.

        My sister is an Labor & Delivery Nurse at the local hospital. She says that some woman like the convience of having the section, when they could do natural or a vag birth easy. There are certain doctors she’s detests working with because they section everyone regardless. She’s very much into working with Doulas and has has specialized training for this. She does see a need for C-sections for those who do require it medically, and supports woman who try natural but need the meds to help them get thru it. In the end, it is a very personal experience.

      • sonnetfm says:

        That’s pretty ridiculous.
        I had an 11 lb baby after a 3 hour labor, vaginally, no pain meds.
        A woman’s body won’t produce a baby that is too big for her, unless there is something wrong, like gestational diabetes.

    • alSeen says:

      My wife was very into the home birth thing. Wanted everything natural. Had done all the research on c sections and how they are almost never necessary. And then she developed severe pre-eclampsia. Very severe.

      She was only 29 weeks along, so they airlifted her 230 miles away. 24 hours later they had to deliver our daughter. She was 2lbs (she’s 5 1/2 years old now and no medical issues).

      My wife was devastated but I kept telling her that she knew that c sections were sometimes necessary and that she just happened to be one of the cases where there was no other choice.

      And then 3 years later with our second pregnancy, she was all set to do a vbac (vaginal birth after c section). Had set everything up at a different hospital (the same one that delivered our daughter) since our local one refuses to do them (they have had women declared a danger to their unborn child by the courts because they refused to do a c section). And then she had pre-eclampsia again and our son was delivered at 33 weeks.

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        Glad to hear that your children and wife are now healthy. It does suck having important plans change so drastically like that though, especially something as personal as a birth plan.

      • pop top says:

        “our local one refuses to do them (they have had women declared a danger to their unborn child by the courts because they refused to do a c section)”

        Let me get this straight. Your local hospital had women declared a danger to their children because the women wouldn’t get C-sections, and now the hospital refuses to perform any C-sections? What the hell?

        • Brunette Bookworm says:

          I think he meant they refuse to do a vaginal birth after a c-section.

        • Disappointed says:

          No…he’s saying that the local hospital refuses to do vbacs (vaginal births after c-sections), which is, actually, not that uncommon a stance nowadays. The prevailing wisdom now is that if a woman had a c-section once, all of her other children must be delivered that way, as well. There doesn’t seem to be much of a solid medical basis for that view, however.

          • NickelMD says:

            There is actually a solid basis for that view. While a vaginal birth and a c-section carry about similar levels of risk for a first pregnancy*, the risk of a VBAC is higher than that of a c-section if the prior birth was a c-section.

            A vaginal birth and a VBAC carry significantly different levels of risk.

            *and by similar levels I don’t mean that the risks are the same. For example in a section, the risk of a 4th degree laceration (a tear extending into the rectum) is essentially nil, but you can nick a ureter (the tube that drains the kidneys to the bladder) in a section. For a vagnial birth those risks are exactly reversed. So the specific risks are different, but taken in sum they are roughly equivalent – which is why there are some OB/Gyns who will allow women to choose a section.

        • AustinTXProgrammer says:

          The local hospital refuses VBACs, and has decided it was appropriate to use the judicial process when the mothers don’t go along.

        • Julia789 says:

          If you had a *previous* c-section, many hospital’s malpractice insurance companies refuse to let the hospital allow have a vaginal birth, because of the risk the uterus can tear during delivery on the scars from the previous c-section. The doctors have little choice in the decision if you have a previous c-section.

          Uterine tear is a small risk (around 2%-4% depending on how many previous c-sections you had, increases with each).

          But when the old c-section scar tears from the pushing, women and their babies can bleed to death very quickly by the time they cut her open to find and stop the bleed. It’s a real gamble. Yes, the risk of uterine tear is low at 2-4% but if you are in that 2-4% it can quicky kill you or the baby.

          It should be an informed decision between a woman and her doctor. All risks of all choices should be discussed in depth.

    • kityglitr says:

      Jesirose – I’m contemplating having my first child. I have tons of friends and family who have done this before all from hospital births to natural at home births with doulas. Honestly, I don’t want my vag ripping open all the way to my anus. I don’t want anyone cutting my vagina open to my anus. That is a valid request, as I would not like to be forced to wear an ice pack for a week, endure stitches, salt baths, and god forbid, voiding my bladder and bowels during this time. So yeah, I’m going for the C section. Call it what you want, but it’s my body and my choice.

      • NickelMD says:

        Thank you for saying that. There are a lot of women who feel ashamed that they had a section (whether planned or unplanned), but the fact of the matter is the two procedures are both reasonable options that carry different, but similar levels of risk.

        And in my book, when there are two reasonable and different treatments available to a given patient, the job of the physician is to provide adequate information so the patient can make an informed decision. The job of the public (and in this case *especially* the anti-c-section people) is to STFU and let the woman make her choice about her body.

        The shaming and ridicule that some folks subject women who choose a section is no different in my book than Randall Terry shoving pictures of a fetus in the face of a woman seeking abortion services.

        Again, thank you for speaking up!!!!

      • pop top says:

        There’s nothing wrong with opting for a C-section if that’s what YOU personally want. But the point a lot of people are trying to make is that hundreds, if not thousands of women every year are pressured/forced into having a procedure they don’t want or need. No one should make you feel bad for it if that’s your choice.

      • whittygirl says:

        As someone who’s had three natural births, tearing to the anus shouldn’t happen. It does, yes, and I’m in no way discounting your fear, but talk to your OB or midwife about ways you can reduce this risk. I did squats, perineal massage (which is far more uncomfortable than it sounds),and used in-delivery techniques. I had a very small tear in each delivery (requiring one-two stitches each time) that have never bothered me.

        It’s absolutely your body, but I caution anyone from thinking a c-section is easier. Giving birth is hard. Having surgery sucks. I have friends who regret c-sections due to complications and difficult recoveries, and friends who can’t imagine having children without one. I hope whatever you choose goes well, and that you enjoy your future little one.

        • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

          About perineal massage…. It doesn’t have to be uncomfortable if you do it right; my midwife just told us to have lots of sex.

      • VA_White says:

        A c-section is great until you develop untreatable adhesions that make almost any kind of penetrative sex unspeakably painful. You can end up just as damaged from a c-section as from an episiotomy.

      • Thalia says:

        Bwhahaha. You do realize that they cut your stomach open for a c-section, right? Recovery takes longer, and is more painful than for a natural birth. Instead of an average of three stitches (for perineal tears/cuts which by the way are fairly uncommon) you’ll get about 60, and probably some staples to go with the stitches. Instead of voiding your bladder on the table, you get a handy tube up there, because you won’t be able to get up to go to the bathroom for the next 12 hours. Instead of an ice pack for a week, you’ll be on morphine or other drugs for two. If you’re afraid of pain and surgery, don’t opt for a c-section.

      • shawnamuffin says:

        Good luck recovering from your major surgery. Seriously, you’ll have trouble walking for weeks. You won’t rip as much if you give birth in a sitting position. Don’t fall for the pathologization of birth.

        • shawnamuffin says:

          Also – if you’re afraid of your bowels….um, grow up. Your child will be emitting from his/her bowels; you realize that, right?

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        You are aware that your dire scenario of “ripping from vagina to anus” is in no way a foregone conclusion for vaginal birth, right? You sound a little more afraid of that than is probably reasonable, so maybe more research might be in order.

        /delivered three eight pound babies without an episiotomy or any tearing whatsoever

      • Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

        It sounds like your friends are scaring you. None of that stuff is a given for vaginal birth, and I can bet you that a surgery would be much worse. I’ve had two natural births, and I don’t even know what a salt bath is. I had a very slight tearing with each one, but neither required stitches. It only stung for a couple of days, and I quit sitting on the ice pack before I left the hospital. The only meds I needed were some mild painkillers for 2 or 3 days after the birth. Don’t let your friends scare you, everyone can find somebody with a birth horror story, but that doesn’t mean it’s better to get a c-section.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      Doctors don’t try, they force them to get c-sections. They get paid more to do c-sections also, not just the timing issues. My s.o. is a nurse, she even told me the story about this one lady who said she didn’t want a c-section. the doctor refuse to deliver the baby. She had to take her complaint to the head doctor, the head doctor was the doctor who wanted to do the c-section. She end up getting c-section, even though she didn’t want to and her OBYGEN (whatever it’s called) told her she don’t need a c-section.

      It messed up, even if the mother is well informed, and doesn’t want or need a c-section, doctors can still give her a c-section.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        Unrelated, but you couldn’t just Google the correct term instead of writing it incorrectly, then taking the time to type “(whatever it’s called)”? Seriously. Google.

      • haggis for the soul says:

        I’ve heard an ob say that she would rather not do c-sections since they don’t get paid any more and it’s actually more work. I don’t have quotable statistics any more than you do, though.

        • OnePumpChump says:

          Maybe that particular doctor is salaried.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I can’t imagine a C-section not costing more. We’re expecting our second baby and I got estimates at all of our local hospitals. In every instance, a C-section costs at least $4,000 more and requires an extra recovery day at the hospital.

    • JulesNoctambule says:

      Aww, your little black-and-white world with the Bad, Mean Doctors!!! and the Helpless, Uneducated Women!!! is so very cute!

      A friend of mine opted for a c-section because an injury meant that she was at the risk of possible spinal damage if she went for a ‘natural’ birth. The amount of crap she got from people like you was unbelievable.

      • pop top says:

        See now, medically-necessary C-sections I understand. Obviously some women cannot give birth naturally. My best friend is one of them; she has a very small pelvis, but is otherwise healthy, so she had to have C-sections for her two boys. I don’t understand getting mad at people who have to have them though. That would be like getting mad at a cancer patient for needing chemo.

      • jesirose says:

        It’s like you only read part of my comment or something. Your friend NEEDED it. Yes, she sort of “opted” for it. But the way the post is written it sounds like women are just going “Yeah, this sounds easier, I WANT it.” That’s not the reality.

        I would never “give crap” to someone who had a medical need for something. Sheesh. Thanks for judging me on one comment. Where in my comments do I get mad at women for getting C-sections? My mother had one with her son. She needed it. Most women don’t. I don’t get mad at the women though.

        I don’t think the doctors are all mean (though some are) I just think they’re not doing their job properly.

        • meske says:

          I know of more and more women/families opting for C sections and/or induced births based on scheduling more than anything else. Seems nobody wants to wait around anymore for things to happen, but instead just want it now, and know exactly when everything is going to happen (ya know, so they can plan their work schedule around it, existing child care, etc.).

          Not saying it’s right, and I personally would not do it that way, but it’s pretty common.

          • nbs2 says:

            Sometimes people are trying to schedule around unpredictable forces. With our first, we induced because she was a week late, and the doctor agreed that was long enough. With the second, we had moved but loved our OB enough that we were willing to travel an hour each way for checkups and the delivery. With a mid-Dec due date, it was safer to have an induction appointment that could be moved in the event of snow, rather than risking the kid being born in an unfamiliar (for us) environ.

            And yes, it snowed on his due date as well as the week after.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      According to our obstetrician, there is always a rush of C-sections and inductions the last week of December. Many doctors will bump up the due date as a courtesy to help family’s sustain only a year’s worth of deductibles or if they’re about to lose insurance in the new year.

    • Charmander says:

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. If that were true, over 32.3% of women are not able to give birth normally.

      The real reason is c-sections cost more and therefore make more money for hospitals.

    • pot_roast says:

      No, that is not the reason at all. The c section rates have been rising across the industrialized world for many years now, and women DO opt to have them. Having a c-section is very popular with the “birth plan” crowd nowadays. Also look at the high rates of c-sections done in Brazil. Again, they are elective.
      My wife has been in ob/gyn for over a decade now and requests for c-sections are very common. Women are ‘too busy to wait for a natural birth date’ so they want to plan pretty much every aspect of the pregnancy, from the date of conception all the way to the date of delivery.
      I had a similar discussion with a nurse that was at Parkland Hospital in Dallas – you know, the hospital that delivers so many babies that the docs working there are the ones that write OB textbooks (yes, I’m serious) used across the country – and her experiences over the past 20 years say the same thing. It’s also common to do a tubal ligation while doing a c-section and many women opt for that.

  3. CheesyRings says:

    Regular way. And since she cheated on me a couple years later..I hope it hurt like hell.

  4. MaxH42 thinks RecordStoreToughGuy got a raw deal says:

    Nowhere does it say in TFA that mothers are “opting” for C-sections. In fact, I’ve read studies showing that the increase is partially because doctors are recommending them more often; they’re faster and more predictable, hence easier to schedule. (I’m not saying all or even many doctors are doing this, obviously, but apparently some might.)

  5. Meddygon says:

    I had a c-section. Baby was breech.

    • suzieq says:

      Same here. I really wish I would have been able to have my son naturally because 4 months later I am still sore and the loss of all feeling around the scar really bugs me at time.

      • Parsnip says:

        That usually comes back eventually. It’s been 2.5 years since my C Section and I’ve finally got most of the feeling around my scar back. But man, it was freaky.

    • EdnasEdibles says:

      Same here. And I don’t necessarily know that a c-section is easier for husbands. Mine was in the room the whole time and made the mistake of looking at the bloody mess afterwards. But on the list of positives for him, he got to hold the baby first because I was getting stitched up.

    • bubbledumpster says:

      Natural breech births are totally possible. This is one of a plethora of reasons why C-Sections are on the rise: doctors are no longer trained in the natural delivery of breech babies.

      • kityglitr says:

        They may be possible, but won’t someone please think of the poor vaginas!

      • MrEvil says:

        Pretty sure my dad knows how to naturally deliver a breech baby. He had to do it many times when he was in the dairy business. It involves some very long gloves, lubricant, and your arm all the way inside the heifer. I’m no doctor, but I reckon the procedure on a human isn’t all that different, just smaller and a bit more delicate.

      • NickelMD says:

        Possible, but the risk to the baby (even in the hands of a skilled practitioner) is greater that that of a section. And if a mother wants to have a section to decrease the risk to her baby, that’s her decision – not yours.

        • bubbledumpster says:

          I agree, it is her decision. I support the right of mother’s to schedule their c-sections when convenient for them, though it is not something I agree with. However, in an ideal situation pregnant women with breech babies would not be required to undergo c-sections as they so often are. They would be given the option to labor naturally in a safe hospital environment free of unnecessary interventions and pressures to get the baby out before tee time.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      My friend had twins vaginally and one was a footling breech. Breech is no excuse to jump right to a section unless it is what you want.

      • Elphaba says:

        Birthing known footling breach’s vaginally is stunt birthing pure and simple. Way to easy for it to go wrong and kill the baby so that the mom can say “HAHA I proved them all wrong, I birthed a footling breach.”

  6. speedwell (propagandist and secular snarkist) says:

    In before all the other trolls who defiantly protest the idea that a perfectly healthy pregnant woman (or a parent with kids) gets a special pretty princess parking space awarded to her because she successfully procreated, while people just out of the hospital after major surgery get glares as they leverage themselves out of the car and painfully shuffle to the grocery to get a quart of milk and a loaf of bread.

    • Sidecutter says:

      You know, it’s funny. I saw those “Stork Parking” spaces pop up EVERYWHERE over the space of a couple years when they appeared at first. I also said “really, is this necessary?”. But now, I never see Stork Parking anymore, they’ve all vanished.

    • jesirose says:

      Your run on sentence is a little confusing. What exactly are you expecting the trolls to argue?

    • Skankingmike says:

      I just park in them. There’s nothing legally baring me from parking there. Its like a free parking space for me. I actually started doing it after my wife did it one day and told me fuck the breeders. HAH

      • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

        OT, but what the hell–I park my minivan in the Low Emission Vehicle parking space at the mall. I mean, seriously? Why should Prius drivers get a special parking space? They’re supporting the 1,000,000,000,000 square foot mall that uses 1.21 gigawatts of energy a millisecond just in air conditioning–so they’re killing the planet just as surely as I am.

    • MrEvil says:

      Just to let the trolls out there know. If your recovery from a surgery is impairing your mobility you can have a doctor issue you an order that would grant you a temporary disability placard for your vehicle. A Disability doesn’t have to be a permanent condition.

  7. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Caesarian Births More Popular [With Doctors] Than Ever

    Actually, this has become increasingly the choice of doctors to perform this procedure, not necessarily the parents. Under the flag of safety, doctor’s demand this procedure, for even the most basic risk during birth. Oftentimes, mothers are told the doctor will not perform a vaginal birth; the doctor would refuse to perform the delivery unless it’s done his way!

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      It seems like when you first go to the doctor it would be wise to have a conversation with him/her about this issue. I would want to know under what circumstances my doctor would deem a c-section necessary. Not convenient; NECESSARY.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        “It seems like when you first go to the doctor it would be wise to have a conversation with him/her about this issue”

        That’s why it’s good to shop around for an obstetrician and/or go off the recommendation of friends.

    • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

      I have 4 kids, and I’ve never been pushed for a c-section luckily. I always wanted natural childbirth, did the best I could to avoid any intervention. I’ve needed to be induced for one reason or another, and the Dr. I was seeing refused to induce me because it was a higher chance of needing a c-section. This was for my last child, and I was told about a million times before this that I have child bearing pelvic bones LOL. (My first child was almost 8-1/2 pds and I didn’t even tear) The Dr. already had a 55% c-section rate and actually asked me if I’d rather just have the c-section instead of going thru an induction that might not work. (This would of been my 3rd induction and the previous 2 went off without a hitch) So I can see where this article is coming from.

  8. TBGBoodler says:

    I had both; C-section first (not planned, but medically necessary), gave vaginal birth five years later.

    I would never have CHOSEN the C-section, especially now after going through it. While childbirth is scary and painful, it doesn’t compare to the weeks-long recovery from general surgery.

    • 108socks says:

      My first was born emergency C-section because he was horribly stuck.
      My doctor was nice enough to give me the chance to try a regular birth with #2. I was fine, then went on to have four more regular births (5 total VBACS).

      Having done both, I would never choose Csection, unless necessary. It is a long and painful recovery process — thankfully I had it with my first, with no other children to take care of while trying to recover.

  9. momtimestwo says:

    My daughter was born via emergency CS because she was breathing mechonium and her heartbeat nearly stopped. And my son was born via CS because they refused to allow me to give birth normally. They simply would not let me.

  10. Bremma says:

    Every time I hear the word caesarian or c-section now, I think of this side comic/image from one of my favorite webcomics.

    http://templaraz.com/bonus_comics/moms-01.jpg

  11. rbb says:

    Phil – As a father who has (to paraphrase your comments) “endured two caesarian births” – F-YOU. I was not sitting on my ass reading books or playing DS games. I was right there with my wife both times. Both times, we went through the options thoroughly and based our decision on what was best for the mother and child.

  12. CheesyRings says:

    Regular method. And since she cheated on me a couple years later..I hope it hurt like hell.

  13. dulcinea47 says:

    Gad! A c-section is supposed to be b/c there’s something wrong and it *needs* to be done, not an option like do you want soup or salad. But they do them all the time now b/c oh, the labor is taking a long time and it’s painful. I’m busy on Thursday so I’d better have my c-section on Wednesday. All sorts of unacceptable reasons. There are health risks associated, not to mention cost, and doctors really need to pull their heads out and start doing c sections only when medically necessary.

  14. PBallRaven says:

    My wife had a C-section only after waiting over 24 hrs in labor and not dialating enough. She still has pain from the scar over a year later. And I was right in there with her and NOT playing games in the waiting area.

  15. Gulliver says:

    As a man who will never deal with this issue, I wonder if the reason might have something to do with liability and predictability, and of course money. Insurance is higher payment for a c section, but I have heard many doctors think it is safer for the baby, but more dangerous for the mother. The problem being if a baby dies or has something go wrong, the awards of juries will be much higher for a baby than for a problem to the mother.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Not really. If a doctor recommends a CS and the patient refuses, they are in the clear since it’s a patient’sm right to refuse surgery.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      From someone that has worked in inferential stats, risk prevention, etc., in my career, those two points that you make are well put and very valid imo.

      Reducing liability and increasing predictability through improved processes for new born baby’s can be a positive choice for the baby, mother and the doctor. Looking at your two points for instance, per the doctor, liability insurance is outrageous because American’s love to sue for every little issue because we’ve been marketed to death about “our rights” and now it’s become business as usual.

      The predictability part is just that; a quantitively proven process to increase safe births that lessen the chance of problems for the baby and mother. Hospitals are increasing their usage of mathematical calculations along with improvement in medical processes to improve the outcome of patients. Why? As I mentioned to improve the outcome of patients but unfortunately to also decrease costs because insurance companies are riding the asses of hospitals. They’re stuck in the middle. And yes, it sucks that the insurance companies are on the backs of hospitals but hospitals have been forced to improved and stats is a great way to implement improvements.

      Ten years ago I talked to my doctor per a required test for this job that I had and we were the same age and we were talking about our careers. He told me that he had always wanted to be a doctor since we were kids, but he told me that he hated it merely because of the insurance companies basically telling him how to run his business. He spent more time fighting them than being a doctor. In 2003, there was an article (I believe Time Mag) about doctor’s leaving their practice down south in Tennessee? Kentucky? because liability insurance became unaffordable. And in the same article, many doctors were going to law school because they needed these skill sets so they could fight against patients suing them and the insurance companies deciding against paying them.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Exactly. Doctors are afraid of being sued.

      But there *ARE* women (don’t flame me, I know them!) who actually choose it. Did you know, for example, that insurance (AFLAC, for example) pay higher amounts of CASH to you for a cesarian, (in addition to what your primary insurance pays) or that disability will give you more time off for a cesarian? Some women would do ANYTHING to gain a few precious weeks more with their newborns – and I understand that. The standard 6 weeks off after birth is crap.

      I think if someone passes anything as big as a baby out ANY of their orafices, they should automatically get 3 months off paid. And a medal.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        Say hello to my new Senator! *applause* Do I get 4 purple hearts for my labors? All natural, no pain meds–Ok, I lie. I did try the epidural the last time but it didn’t work. At all. So basically no pain meds. And I’m owed a shitload of paid leave.

  16. chiieddy says:

    Phil really?! (Why am I not surprised)

    Cesareans are still a major surgery. You should not have it unless you need it.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Doctors seem to disagree. They recommend them oftentimes unnecessarily.

      • chiieddy says:

        That there is the problem, not people CHOOSING to have them. There are more and more people picking doctors who don’t demand a C-section at the drop of a hat. Unfortunately, we have to educate ourselves about our options because our doctors often won’t.

        Some doctors are truly bad eggs and demand the surgery because they get more money. Once the health insurance companies move to universal payment systems (lump sums ‘salaries’ for doctors, and yes, it’s coming), we’ll see these type of unnecessary procedures (as well as unnecessary testing, etc) go down.

    • dangerp says:

      Your sarcasm detector seems to be broken.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      “Cesareans are still a major surgery. You should not have it unless you need it.”

      Or… if your due date is the first week in January and you can’t afford two year’s worth of deductibles or will be losing your insurance in 2011. Elective C-section or induced labor at the end of December are really the only option for those in these situations.

  17. Gramin says:

    Phil, I’m curious about where that article states that “a larger contingency of pregnant mothers [are] opting” for caesarian section births? It just states that the number is up, not that soon-to-be moms are selecting c-section as if it’s the current “in” thing to do.

    Of all the pregnant women I’ve talked to over the past several years, every single one of them has said that they want a natural birth.

  18. Comment Turtle says:

    Hw s ths cnsmrst nws?

    • Gramin says:

      It’s not.

      • ZenMasterKel says:

        It’s not consumer news, but there are a lot of stay at home mothers that read and support this site, so The Consumerist trys to find interesting stories to cater to one of its audiences. If a large group of computer IT people visited this site, you would see more tech articles.

        • pop top says:

          How do you know the site’s demographics so well?

          • ZenMasterKel says:

            I’ve been reading this site for more than 3 years, and there’s a vocal group that gets bent out of shape on issues like breast feeding in public, children in restaurants, issues which deal directly with mothers, etc. You’re not going to ever convince them that they’re wrong or that you’re not a misogynistic pig for questioning how they interpret a story.

            • RecoveringFarmGirl says:

              I’m actually not a stay-at-home mom, but I reserve my right to get bent out of shape, thanks.

            • pop top says:

              You don’t have to be a mother to care about issues affecting them.

            • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

              See, now that’s interesting because I am, in fact, one of those SAHMs and I think of this crowd as having a distinctly “I hate your obnoxious crotchfruit!!!!!” bent. I check in here in part to see perspectives that are different those I hear in my suburban, middle-class, married-with-kids circle.

    • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

      Because it affects our insurance rates. That’s why.

    • jessjj347 says:

      Because health care is becoming more and more a consumer issue. Think about how you can “shop around” for medical professionals, procedures, etc.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      Because health care is a consumer issue. My wife and I are expecting and we’ve gotten estimates for vaginal delivery vs. c-section at a half dozen different hospitals. Child birth costs at least as much as a car and potentially more than a house. It’s important to make informed choices.

      Our baby’s due date is on January 4th but we will be having her induced on December 29th. It’s not an ideal situation but we can’t afford another year with our high deductible plan.

    • sonnetfm says:

      It’s not. Phil is just trying to meet his quota, I think.

  19. Brunette Bookworm says:

    I don’t know any woman who CHOSE to have a c-section. They had them because the baby was breech, the baby was in trouble, the mother was in trouble, etc. The moms also had a much longer recovery because it’s surgery. They can’t lift things which makes caring for the baby difficult, can’t drive for a bit, can’t sit up easily. I get that you are being sarcastic but Phil, your flippant attitude is kind of offensive. C-sections are major surgery.

    • 12345678nine says:

      Here’s the thing, lots of women are being told “you can’t have this baby vaginally, we will have to do a c-section”.
      LOTS of women.
      I have known SEVERAL, who after doing their research and understanding that often times they will be pressured into getting one unnecessarily, they opted out of the c-section when told they “had to” do it.
      Women need to be aware of their options. They do indeed need to know that c-sections are being performed a lot unnecessarily these days, and to not trust your doctor automatically.

      My friends were all able to have their children the “natural” way and were PISSED afterwards that the doctors pressured them so much against it.
      Sometimes, c-sections are necessary. It really sucks that you can’t take the drs word when they say you need it.
      My friends figured the risks and knew they could have the child vaginally, and they were right. They listened to the reason as to why they “couldn’t possibly” have the baby vaginally, and decided it was BS. Obviously, this is for each mother to decide and there are some cases where you really just can’t have the baby that way or it would be very dangerous.
      The problem is, when you are going through a very serious procedure in a hospital, when your doctor says you are in danger, you do what he says.
      Failure

      • Wombatish says:

        This this this this THIS.

        I will do whatever it takes to find a doctor who’s opinion I can trust. I don’t care if I have to go live out of state for a while, I will do it.

        And I will have a highly informed/indoctrinated husband and probably a dula.

        You’re at your most vulnerable and impressionable, worried about your child and yourself: To take advantage of you in that situation, especially if you’ve made your wants and concerns well known beforehand is despicable.

  20. christoj8799 says:

    C for my sis and I – popular lore around these parts is that the doctor was sexist and pulled me out first over her.

  21. mk says:

    I’m sorry to have to jump on the bandwagon of doing a better job reporting and why are you writing this article for Consumerist anyway.

    I had a c-section after 24 hours of labor and not progressing fast enough. However, I firmly believe if I had been given more time I still could have had my 9lb 14 oz baby vaginally. And I would have preferred it. I feel like I didn’t get the full experience of childbirth and I think that the main reason the doctor wanted to do the c-section was he was tired of waiting. Of course, at the time I was tired and wasn’t really in a position to argue with a doctor.

    So, as many have said before, the primary reason c-section rates continue to rise is because doctors (an hospitals and insurance companies) push them.

    • pop top says:

      I’m very sorry you were forced to get that done. Was your husband/boyfriend/partner/birth coach anywhere near this at the time? Why didn’t he/she/they stand up for you?

      • mk says:

        Thanks squinko for your kind words.

        My husband was there and he was basically in the same boat I was. He just wanted a healthy baby and generally I think partners tend to be bad advocates at that point because their emotional stake is different than a birth coach, doula or midwife.

        Though of course I’ll never really know and I need to stop second guessing myself and just get on with it (my baby’s just seven months old) I feel like what I should have done was (1) hired a doula so I would have been able to deal with the pain and stayed at home longer and (2) not gotten the epidural as soon as I did. I think (though I may totally be wrong) both of things things would have helped my labor progress more quickly and I would have had a better outcome – in the sense of the labor and delivery. In the end, I had the best outcome anyone can hope for – a healthy wonderful baby boy.

    • uberbitter says:

      I think that’s the crux of it right there – by the time a woman has been in labor for many hours, she’s exhausted and it’s very difficult to fight for what you want at that point. My husband and I are looking to start a family soon, and I think I want a midwive with me at the hospital mainly to act as my advocate. My husband would certainly support whatever decisions I made and isn’t afraid to push against “authority”, but I’m sure it’s a very emotional and tiring situation for partners as well.

      • bastion72 says:

        A doula can also be a good advocate. They are qualified to do everything a midwife does except catch the baby.

        • elysse says:

          Even there there are liability issues, actually. :-(

          When I worked as a doula a couple of years ago (while working to be a midwife), I was told by my certifier that doulas are not allowed to do anything remotely medical beyond massage. No Prenatal visits, no blood pressure checks, no urine samples, no palpation of the uterus, no usage of a doppler… and when it came down to labor time we were (understandably) not allowed to speak for anyone in the room but ourselves. A doula’s hands are quite tied when it comes to actually being in the hospital. As a doula, you could have a client that swears up and down that she wants her delivery to be this particular way and has a expectant father that is supportive, then come B-Day she’s not able to speak for herself and the father decides it was all a ruse and to side with the OB despite your proddings that mom didn’t want it this way at all.

          Oh, and then you get blamed for it as the doula because you didn’t do enough. I don’t doula anymore because of this.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        I had midwives for all 4 of my births. I couldn’t of been happier. My last pregnancy, I used an OB-GYN up until week 39, and I was so furious with him that I left his practice and drove an hour and 1/2 out of the way to go back to my old midwives who took me in knowing my medical history and how easy it was for me to give birth.
        Midwives only ask for a Dr. when medically necessary. They’re not able to deliver you if you are considered high-risk, so you are put with an OB-GYN early on in the pregnancy to make sure you have the best care. Where I went, there is always an OB on call for emergencies but the midwives do the majority of the deliveries, and there percentage of c-sections is only 19%.

    • Powerlurker says:

      It took 36 hours for my mom to deliver me the old fashioned way. My siblings were both c-sections because they turned breech late in the process.

  22. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    We have had 2 girls. The first was regular delivery, but a very quick labor. My wife went into labor at 7:30 am, we got to the hospital at 9:00 and at 3:20 it was three pushes and done. VERY QUICK, particularly for the first child.

    18 months later, pregnant with the second daughter. Same doctors. Everyone was jokingly, but at the same time giving me real information, about emergency childbirth procedures. How to check that the cord was not wrapped around the neck, etc. Real information that someone would need to know, not just “do you know how to boil water?”.

    When we took the refresher course we were the last couple to say how the previous births went. After hearing all the stories of 24 hours plus of labor, I said that I felt guilty. For us it was 9 hours, 3 pushes and we were done. The Nurse giving the class then said we are going to go over the following, and for YOU (pointing at me) we are going to go over emergency childbirth procedures.

    Come the due date, my daughter was in a breach position. They could not rotate her so they scheduled us for a C-section on January 4. The first one of the day, so we had to get up at 5:30am.

    At 3:20am on the 4th, I hear a scream. At 3:22, I hear another. At the 3:24 scream, I realize something is going on. My wife was deep into labor after only 3 contractions. I call 911 for an ambulance and while I am on the phone, I hear “The baby is coming”.

    I delivered my second daughter on the bathroom floor in a breach position (frank breach is the name of the actual position) before the ambulance showed up 5 minutes after I called them.

    So, while we were scheduled for a C-section, we never got to experience it.

    • RecoveringFarmGirl says:

      Wow! It never hurts to be prepared. ;)

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Holy crap! Good thing you had the training.

      My mother told me that all three of us were three weeks early, and came after only three hours of labor. Even though I think she may have exaggerated a bit, I knew that women often have similar labor and deliveries to their moms. So I was like, “Thanks for the warning, Mom.”

  23. Foxmom says:

    Had one for my twins. We left the option for natural but when it came time to have them they were in bad positions which leads to higher risk of death for the 2nd. My hubby was there in the room the whole time and stayed with the babies the whole time. It took awhile to recover but it’s been 2 years now and I’m fine. If we have any more (they were the first) then I’ll still try for a natural birth.

  24. Tim says:

    To the people saying doctors force women into it: it’s still always the woman’s choice, unless she’s unconscious, legally insane or a few other, very limited reasons.

    Start a relationship with an obstetrician well before your due date. If the obstetrician wants you to have a C-section and you don’t think it’s necessary, go somewhere else.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      Like another state? http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/12/17/birth.plan.tips/index.html

      What if you can’t afford to do that?

      What if the doctor is OK with not doing a c-section until the mother is in labor? How long do you argue with the doctor about how you want to give birth?

    • alSeen says:

      It might be their choice, but many women are easily influenced by those that they consider to be experts. Doctors are in a significant position of trust and have a huge influence on the patient. There wouldn’t be this rise in the procedure if doctors weren’t pushing for it.

    • pop top says:

      “To the people saying doctors force women into it: it’s still always the woman’s choice, unless she’s unconscious, legally insane or a few other, very limited reasons.”

      What a very stupid and offensive thing to say. People can choose to do things but still be pressured or forced into it. Please read up on this subject before you start being a jackass.

    • Fujikopez says:

      So, after hours and hours of labor, when your, until then agreeable doc, says she thinks it’s time for a c-section, you think a woman is in the right mind to 1. comprehend the full risks of the procedure (if anyone verbally tells her at all), or 2. weigh the pros and cons on both and come to a proper decision? Have you ever attended a woman in labor?

    • SharkD says:

      Start a relationship with an obstetrician well before your due date. If the obstetrician wants you to have a C-section and you don’t think it’s necessary, go somewhere else.

      I presume that your OB/GYN needs are met by the staff at Imaginationland Medical Center, right?

      Because, in the real world, no matter who your OB/GYN of record is, you get whomever is on-call. When we checked into the hospital, the attending was our primary OB/GYN. When my son was delivered, 29 hours later, via c-section, the attending was a jackass, whom neither my wife, nor I, want within 10 yards of our next pregnancy.

    • Wombatish says:

      Yes, because when you’re in the hospital, in labor, dilated, you can just pack your bags and choose somewhere else!

      A lot of doctors completely seem like they will follow a woman’s wishes, and then change their mind at that point, either due to being (sometimes overly) cautious or being pressured by the hospital or their superiors. And that’s if you’re even lucky enough to get your own OB to be present.

  25. bgeek says:

    My wife had all vaginal births. As for the rise in Caesarian’s, just asked my sister-in-law about this (she’s in family practice), and she said that there are many more high risk patients these days, specifically due to obesity and women waiting much longer to have children.

  26. Kitteridge says:

    A friend of mine opted to have an at-home birth (ok, that’s a little crunchy for me, but it’s her decision) and you wouldn’t *believe* the hoops she had to jump through, from the doctors who insisted she *must* be in a hospital and if things went wrong they wouldn’t assist to the doctors who clearly indicated that a c-section was the way to go. The medical establishment treats pregnancy like an illness, not a natural thing that most women’s bodies can handle just fine. I agree there can be all kinds of complications and care needs to be taken from conception, but this notion that you’re sick for 9 months and then have to have something removed — rather than actual pregnancy/birth — is ridiculous.

  27. 108socks says:

    Amen to that. Had the first by emergency C-section after the baby got horribly stuck. We both were in real trouble.

    I had an awesome doctor that let me try regular delivery first on #2. It was fine, went on to have four more regular delivery after that. (5 total VBACs). Having done both, I would never choose to do a C-section. The recovery is much longer, more horrible and painful — and thankfully it was my first so I didn’t have other children to have to try to deal with, recovering from a C-section.

  28. majortom1981 says:

    I think its more due to our lawsuit happy society. There is more of a chance of birth defects if the baby is done vaginally. I thinks its for doctor liability.

  29. Patriot says:

    Hate to break it to you Phil but every hospital I’ve worked at “forces” the dad to sit beside his wife during the c-section.

  30. neilb says:

    After being as close to my wife as a father can possibly be 2 natural births and hearing friends’ birth stories, I have a few learnings, though they are just mine.

    1. Doctors practice medicine. Birth is not a medical condition. Don’t trust medicine unless you are an exception and have a genuine health issue. Most women don’t. I trust a mechanic to handle my furnace, I trust a midwife to handle the physical aspects of our births. I also trust them to make the call as to if a doctor needs to be involved. They have seen it all and tend to have far more and better experience than doctors do in regard to birthing.

    2. As a society, we dread pain to a degree that it allows harmful procedures like C-sections to be recommended as a default. My wife had great experiences with natural birth and claims the pain is less severe than an ear infection. The satisfaction of knowing that you are capable and have joined in the mammalian family of birthing is very fulfilling. I know that sounds flighty, but hey, it is a real part of living that we have evolved to do and to deny the machinery a chance to do its thing seems wrong! Also, being able to shower afterward is awesome. One cannot even care for oneself well after a c-section, let alone a baby.

    3. Most other countries have better birthing systems than we do. Look at their practices and maternal/infant mortality and ask why we should opt for ours (which has a high maternal death rate for a first-world country). They do VBACs without bad consequences.

    5) Do you believe Big Ag does not have your nutrition in mind? Do you believe that big Pharma has their profits in mind over your long-term well-being?
    There is money to be made in birthing–like “50% of overall hospital revenue coming from the birthing center” big. $5,000 for a natural birth that takes many hours or $30,000 for a 15-minute C-section? Doctors do not have your best interests in mind when they recommend (or allow you to opt for) a c-section. They want the convenience and cash.
    There is every reason to believe that the ACOG is trying to keep up professional costs and they do so as the expense of every woman who is stripped of her ability to birth naturally by adhering to their profitable recommendations.
    Want to study why health insurance is high? Look at how we handle pregnancy and birth!

  31. SomeWhiteGuy says:

    My wife wanted a C-Section because the doctor and her friends scared her sh!tless. The sonogram was predicting we’d have a 9-10.5lbs baby and she has a very petite frame (104lbs before pregnancy) and a 6in rod in her back from scoliosis surgery when she was 13. Then my family was scaring her with the birth statistics for my family. I was 8.6lbs, my sister 9.2lbs, and we have a cousin that was 11.7lbs. We don’t have an overly large family… just big’ol babies.

    After her experience with the C-Section and the recovery afterward she wants to go vaginal no matter the size. With the stitches, the pain, the drugs, and the side-effects she wasn’t even really available to nurse for a few hours after having the baby. She feels she missed a lot of the birth for comfort and doesn’t want to miss it again.

    • sonnetfm says:

      Ugh, I hate late term ultrasounds. They can be 2-3 pounds off in either direction, but for some reason techs/DRs/nurses usually fail to inform parents of this.

  32. Helix Queen says:

    Watch “The Business of Being Born” on Netflix! It has loads of info and opinions on this subject. One theory is that a lot of these high risk cases (that result in a c-section) are being caused by drugs that are used to induce birth, coupled with an epidural. It also highlights the fact that hospitals are businesses that want those beds full and then empty for maximum profit. In that case, if your natural delivery is taking too long your doctor is really going to push for you to be induced.

  33. Toffeemama is looking for a few good Otters says:

    I recommend a midwife or doctor/midwife collaborative practice, if insurance allows it. Best thing I ever did. They always had a doctor if anything went wrong, and all births were done at the hospital, but it was usually the midwives doing the actual delivery. I had relatively smooth pregnancies and deliveries, and they generally left me alone (aside from check-ups and things like that). And they were very encouraging of my plans for a med-free birth each time.

  34. tbail25 says:

    Yes, as someone who is currently pregnant, I have read a lot of stories from women who were laboring along just fine but were told they needed a C-section because the doctor thought it was necessary(labor taking too long, baby being massive when it came out normal sized, and a few other reason). Doctors do pressure women into C-sections out of convenience whether people want to realize it or not.

  35. Brontide says:

    VBAC under ideal circumstances carries between a 1 and 5% risk of fetal or maternal death. Risk factors like age, health, number and type of c-sections can make it worse. C-section carries a very real risks as well, but they are much easier to control for.

    I know someone who was also big on the “all natural” births and ended up with 2 emergency c-sections because of complications. She tried for VBAC on #2 and insisted on VBAC for the third; she and her daughter are lucky to be alive despite the fact that she chose a center that specialized in VBAC as she ruptured her uterus during delivery and ended up having emergency surgery for delivery and hysterectomy.

    While I would agree that c-sections are probably used too frequently there are serious risks with VBAC as well. We need to stop fixating on the number of c-sections and ask why. Are mothers getting older, fatter, and less healthy leading to the outcome of more c-sections? Are doctors and hospitals more risk-averse because of malpractice because of the poor state of health care in the US? It’s probably a little of both.

    My wife ended up being induced vaginal births for both children. Once because of toxemia and the second because they were late and they were big. We discussed the options with out OB and trusted in his opinion. Besides toxemia my wife had no other complications or risk factors.

    • Fujikopez says:

      Cite your souce for the first paragraph, because it goes against every scientific study I’ve read about VBAC’s and I’ve read a lot.

  36. lifestar says:

    I remember reading a study on lab mice that found that mice that were born via c-sec, were more prone to GI tract diseases than their vagina born counterparts. Apparently the more traditional mice, as they were pushed through the birth channel, would ingest some of the particles in the channel(crap) and it would immediately kick off their immune systems to start producing antibodies to combat those buggers way sooner. The C-sec mice never had to encounter that, thus their immune systems were more vulnerable from those GI germs.

    My wife & I plan on doing traditional when the day comes. It’s worked for years, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  37. raleel says:

    Wife had a C section. She was good to go with a vaginal birth (doc wanted that, she wanted that, everyone wanted that), but every contraction brought on fetal heartrate decelerations. They decided to do a C section, she went into the OR and she had more contractions that almost stopped the kid’s heart. He was out before I got in there.

    Little bugger is 9 months old now. Mom had 6 weeks to recover from surgery. She tried at 4 (she’s that kind of woman) and paid for it. Another two weeks of solid rest. Woman never listens to me or the doctors.

    Make your doctor give you a solid medical reason for a C section. Yes, they are predictable, but not without consequences.

  38. jason in boston says:

    And Phil nails it with his sarcasm. Well done.

  39. Wolfbird says:

    I’m so divided. My boyfriend was born via C-section and so was one of his two sisters (the eldest was a normal birth). My mother had both me and my brother the usual way and says one the first birth was terrible and the second was no big deal.

    I’m still iffy about C-sections because I’m not too hot about that scar and major surgery probably means I can’t hold my baby or do anything for a few weeks, lest I rip myself open. On the other hand, it might be sweet revenge/fun for getting Mr Wolfbird to play nursemaid for us until I recover. I suspect that will mean a lot of microwaved food and paper plates, though.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      He absolutely can and should take care of you in the recovery period, no matter how you deliver : )

  40. bastion72 says:

    My wife is due on Christmas Eve. We have a doula that has been a wealth of information and has helped guide us through our first pregancy. The facts she told us about the DFW area hospitals is a real eye opener. 38% of births were monday thru friday between 9 am and 5 pm and were induced. I’d recommend becoming an informed consumeer when it comes to having a baby. Talk to your OB/GYN and have a birth plan.

  41. SharkD says:

    I was an emergency Caesarian — I was breech and a week early.

    My sister, five years younger, was a VBAC.

    My son was a c-section.

    My wife’s waters broke, at the top of the sac, meaning there was very little amniotic fluid lost, on Tuesday morning, at 2am, in the middle of a massive snowstorm. The attending at the hospital told us not to come in until the staff at the office could see us, but the OB/GYN office was closed. When we were seen on Wednesday (afternoon, because of all the patients rescheduled from Tuesday), she showed no signs of labor.

    By midnight, that had changed; she was admitted at 12:13am on Thursday morning. Almost immediately, she was put on a pitocin drip and did not receive an epidural until 26 hours after admission. Despite more than 28 hours in labor, the (second) attending did not want to try a c-section, until the fetal monitors began showing signs of distress (our son’s head was nearly crowning, but his shoulder was hung-up). He finally relented, and our baby, an 8lb 15.5oz boy, was born via emergency c-section at 5:51am on Friday.

    The surgery was, physically and emotionally, very rough on my wife and we’ve had complications since, due to scar tissue formations that have prevented our attempts at having a second child, requiring additional surgery to remove intra-uterine adhesions.

    But I guess I missed the info on the LAN party, down the hall, with all the other c-section dads-to-be.

  42. gamblepsu says:

    Ugh… try going through the whole birth process with your wife, only to be told the baby is stuck, bp is dropping…. emergency c-section time!

    We had to deal with the bad parts of both ways

  43. haggis for the soul says:

    It was 32% in 2007 as well, according to the CDC. Aren’t C-Sections going to increase as population and births overall increase?

    This article didn’t give any statistical information as to why more Cesareans are being done, and I didn’t notice that it said that mothers were opting for the procedure more often.

    • Steamboat says:

      Yes, the number of cesareans should increase if the birth rate increases (incidentally, in most Western countries, the birth rate is declining). However, we’re looking at rate (percentage) of cesareans.

      The cesarean rate has gone from 5% in 1970 to 32% (and it’s as high as 50% in some localities). There is no excuse for this abuse of the medical system.

  44. Emerald4me says:

    I have done both routes, not by choice. Pushing the child out, well, the recover is MUCH better. I was so happy to have a VBAC.

  45. RioPuerco says:

    My Son was born via emergency C-Section, and with my Daughter the Doctors actually told me to deliver vaginally, but I had such an awful experience with my son that I opted for a 2nd C-Section. In the middle of my 2nd cesarean my surgeon told me I had made the right choice, because my daughter would have gotten lodged in my birth canal just as my son did. For me, my body is unable to give birth naturally, but in both experiences I had to request my sections, they weren’t forced on me.

  46. NumberSix says:

    I don’t get it. A C-Section is ultimately a lot harder on the mother and riskier due to (among other things) the chance of infection. I don’t know why someone would choose that method if they had a choice.

    The epidural is your friend. My wife had no pain at all.

  47. sweetgreenthing says:

    I had my daughter naturally, and I’m having an unmedicated water birth in May for my second. I think it’s important to point out that most c-sections are being done between 9-5 now. Doctor’s don’t have to miss dinner or stay overnight- they can just cut her open and go home. Also, most practices don’t allow VBACs, despite the risks being less than repeated scheduled c-sections. I have only met one woman in my life that requested a c-section without medical need, and the rest of those cut women have been very upset to have been cut without real need. Doctors encourage sectioning because they aren’t trained to wait and let a woman progress on her own time and rely on fetal monitoring, despite evidence that shows fetal monitoring offers little or no indication on how healthy a baby is.
    Midwives, however, manage to have a substantially lower c-section rate- sometimes less than 3%.

  48. RecoveringFarmGirl says:

    Thankfully, my state is one where Certified Professional Midwives are legal and regulated. I have a hard time arguing with authority and knew I wanted to go au natural, so we chose a wonderful, experienced midwife and had my son at a free-standing birth center. I saw the midwife for the whole pregnancy, saw a wonderful family doctor who supports homebirth for necessary tests and it was a wonderful experience. For me, labor really wasn’t that bad, and I’m a tiny person who had an average-sized baby. C-sections are life saving tools, for sure, but the excuses the doctors are coming up with to push them are less and less evidence-based.

    If I remember correctly, my entire midwife bill for all prenatal exams, the birth, and two post-partum checkups at my house (and she came more often than that actually) was around $4000 total. The fee for the birth center (not a medical center at all, just a nice building and it wasn’t my house to clean up) was around $500 I think. Quite the bargain! ;)

  49. daemonaquila says:

    The idea that c-sections are “more popular” is nonsense. Most women don’t need one, but docs like them because it makes timing convenient and gets them a nice bit of money. Payment for medical treatment has been turned on its head – services that do the patient a lot of good (spending time with a patient for a thorough exam and H&P to diagnose an illness or teach them to deal with a chronic condition, giving a woman supportive care during a long labor, etc.) are the worst paid, while procedures (everything from surgeries like c-sections to proctoscopy) is paid handsomely.

    So please, lets use accurate language. We have no chance to fix our broken health care system and educate patients who are being given poor care or even harmful care unless we discuss the real issues.

  50. Paularado says:

    My 1st was emergency c-section (cord wrapped around her neck)

    For my second, I was given the choice. I chose c-section. I just didn’t think the c-section recovery was that bad. The more people I talk to, the more I hear about permanent damage from childbirth (bladder problems, torn cervix, damaged pelvic floor, etc. etc.), so I guess I feel like I came out of the whole thing fairly unscathed. The reality is, having children can be brutal and even fatal. Crazy!

  51. Paularado says:

    My 1st was emergency c-section (cord wrapped around her neck)

    For my second, I was given the choice. I chose c-section. I just didn’t think the c-section recovery was that bad. The more people I talk to, the more I hear about permanent damage from childbirth (bladder problems, torn cervix, damaged pelvic floor, etc. etc.), so I guess I feel like I came out of the whole thing fairly unscathed. The reality is, having children can be brutal and even fatal. Crazy!

  52. Paularado says:

    My 1st was emergency c-section (cord wrapped around her neck)

    For my second, I was given the choice. I chose c-section. I just didn’t think the c-section recovery was that bad. The more people I talk to, the more I hear about permanent damage from childbirth (bladder problems, torn cervix, damaged pelvic floor, etc. etc.), so I guess I feel like I came out of the whole thing fairly unscathed. The reality is, having children can be brutal and even fatal. Crazy!

  53. Bad_Brad says:

    Wow. Lots and lots of bad information out there.

    First of all, women don’t “opt” for c-sections, they are largely told that they will have a c-section by their doctors.

    Secondly, the reason doctors do this is to protect themselves from liability risk. A c-section is completely controlled and very easy for a trained doctor to execute in a very short time period. A natural birth can be risky and things completely outside the doctor’s control can result in death of the child or the mother and thus a costly lawsuit.

    And finally, to the original article writer, it is no picnic for the wife to recover from a c-section. You will not be playing DS games. My wife has had three c-secions and the full recovery for each one was at least a month or so. For the first week or so, she was completely on bed-rest, barely able to walk. Guess who gets to do every chore around the house during that time? Here’s a hint – it ain’t the tooth fairy.

  54. r586 says:

    it’s all about money, same reason doctors are willing to do circumcisions even though medical ethics say they should not be willing to do a surgery for someone else’s desire

  55. human_shield says:

    C-sections are big business. It’s profitable, which is why doctors push it. Honestly unless it is medically necessary, this kind of surgery is unethical in my opinion. The recovery time is much higher after a c-section also.

  56. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    My wife and I are expecting and have crappy health insurance. Our due date isn’t until the first week of Jan and in all honesty, we were seriously considering having an elective C-section at the end of the month because we can’t afford two years worth of deductibles. Instead, we will be having labor induced and (hopefully) be in-and-out of the hospital by Dec 31st.

    We absolutely can not afford to have two back-to-back years of high medical expenses when we have a $5,000 deductible.

  57. Ed says:

    People, if you need it for a medical reason, fine, but you can get things like Celiac’s disease from a c-section.

  58. Zowie says:

    Hospital’s are for people who are sick. A person goes to a hospital when something is wrong that needs to be fixed. Being pregnant is not an illness. Giving birth is not something wrong with a woman’s body.

    Giving birth is also not predictable or convenient. If you have ever been pregnant, or had a partner who was you know that the range of possible side effects, pains and birth processes that is considered “normal” is incredibly large. By and large, unless something goes wrong, a woman’s body knows how to give birth.

    But enter a hospital and doctors can’t leave well enough alone. They feel the need to intervene, to control the situation. To make it happen faster, or even on a time frame more convenient for them. And now we have a situation where women are “needing” surgery more than at any time in the course of civilization. A normal life process has been transformed to dangerous situation requiring surgical intervention.

    I guess when you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      According to my health insurance renewal paperwork, pregnancy is a “disease/injury” and a check box that is between ovarian cysts and syphilis.

    • outoftheblew says:

      I totally agree with you. But also keep in mind, deaths of women and babies during childbirth were MUCH higher in the past. A big reason that’s gone down is because of this stuff. I’m totally with you that it’s done much too often, for convenience’s sake. But I’m amazed at how many of my friends/family (half?) would have likely died during childbirth if we were living 100 years ago.

    • RayanneGraff says:

      I don’t get this hospital hate. Hospitals are not just for sick people, and it seems to me that a lot of pregnant women who make this claim have chips on their shoulders. Hospitals are a safe place to have a baby, where if something DOES go wrong, there are knowledgeable people & medical supplies right there to save you or your child’s life.

      If your doctor is doing something you don’t like, demand a different doctor. If there is no medical need for you to have a c-section or whatever, they can’t force you.

    • Erika'sPowerMinute says:

      Today’s Fun Fact:

      I read somewhere that virtually all births in Brazil are via section, because apparently men there get squicked out about sex after vaginal birth, think the vagina gets larger, blah blah blah.

      With all due respect to cultural differences: Buncha damn weirdos.

  59. sonnetfm says:

    I had my 11 pounder regularly. 3 hours of labor, 5 minutes of pushing, no pain meds. He was a little miracle baby haha
    He came out before the on-call OBGYN could even get to the hospital, and I’m actually pretty glad for it. My Dr. had indicated the entire 3rd trimester of my pregnancy that if the baby was too big, she would want a c-section. She also was very opposed to me going past 41 weeks without an induction, which I just didn’t understand. A baby will come when it’s ready to be born.
    Anyway, she came to my room a few hours after baby was born, and said, “Good thing we didn’t know for sure he was such a big boy, I would’ve ordered a C-section!”
    When, quite obviously, I wouldn’t have needed one.

  60. 3rdUserName says:

    Which way nets more profit for the hospitals?

  61. StrangeEmily says:

    I knew a girl who was 17, she opted out for the C-section and gave birth naturally, the baby was too big so it took a lot of stitches afterwards to fix the tearing, she couldn’t walk for ages afterwards and was in pain constantly.
    I came across a before and after picture of giving birth naturally and why it causes permanent incontenance for young women, this happened when I was flipping channels on cable and accidentally stopped on Oprah. I was traumatized.

    But I never ever want children (and if I ever did, I would adopt) so I am comfortable knowing the fact that I will never have to endure any of this.

  62. KrispyKrink says:

    Popular? No. Forced as an only option? Yes. That’s the way our local Hospitals roll. If you want to have a baby at one of the local joints it’s C-section or go elsewhere. Which is why my friends with kids had those kids at home.

  63. RayanneGraff says:

    My daughter was born naturally & it was the worst experience of my life. I will NEVER do a vaginal birth again as long as I live. I now have a cyst on my episiotomy scar, sciatica that won’t go away, and I was in labor for 3 damn days.

    If I have any more kids, you better damn well believe I’m going to have a c-section whether I need it or not. Eff that vaginal birth bullshit, NEVER again.

  64. Chipzilla says:

    My wife’s had three sections – I can’t imagine anyone voluntarily opting for one over a normal delivery. It’s major surgery, and intensely painful afterwards.

    The reality from what I’ve personally seen is that doctors coerce mothers into having a section in any case where might be the remotest possibility of something going wrong.

    One other thing – to the writer: you “endured” the birth of your children? Good for you. You must have had a difficult time…

  65. pot_roast says:

    Here’s another article about it: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=123719

    And another: http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=114662

    “Yet another reason for the soaring rate of C-sections is maternal choice. “

  66. spartie says:

    This is a good thing, as we now have a surplus of people eligible to killy Macbeth

  67. spartie says:

    This is a good thing, as we now have a surplus of people eligible to kill Macbeth

  68. Ashley says:

    I’m a firm believer that this wouldn’t happen so much if it weren’t so popular to have hospital births. Home births are still an available option, and if more people knew about that option, then less people would be forced into having c-sections. Just my opinion. :)

  69. MinervaAutolycus says:

    After four days of the doctor trying to induce labor in the hospital, I opted for a c-section. I was up and about within a day or so. No lingering effects 18 years later except a scar. During childbirth classes, c-sections were presented as sort of a failure. We ended up not having any more children, but I don’t think I’d like to have a baby the traditional way. Producing a human being is experience enough for me.

  70. MinervaAutolycus says:

    After four days of the doctor trying to induce labor in the hospital, I opted for a c-section. I was up and about within a day or so. No lingering effects 18 years later except a scar. During childbirth classes, c-sections were presented as sort of a failure. We ended up not having any more children, but I don’t think I’d like to have a baby the traditional way. Producing a human being is experience enough for me.

  71. wimom says:

    I love, love, loved, my 2 c-sections, but the writer, Phil, is wrong: the husband is in the OR with you.

  72. criscross228 says:

    As a woman who has had 5 C-sections (not by choice, by medical need), this is not a good option as you grow older. This is NOT a convenience surgery for the person undergoing the routine. Multiple C-sections cause medical issues as you age–think twice and 3 times before enduring this medical procedure if it is not medically necessary. I will have these health issues the rest of my life (like incontinence, interstitial cystitis, kidney stones and other kidney andurinary tract issues) due to scar-tissue build-up because of the procedure. Are you ready for this for the rest of your life? It cannot be fixed by followup medical procedures. You will be going to the bathroom every hour for the rest of your life and will have to adjust your social routine to take this into account. If you decide to dehydrate yourself so you can take a long car trip, you will end up with kidney stones. Nobody tells you this when you are given the notice that you need a C-section. I was not 30 years ago.