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If you took prenatal classes did they cover the possible risks of vaginal delivery?

I was reading a book that had a section interviewing women in Canada and the UK who are members in birth trauma support group. Many of these women have complications from long labors,instrumental delivery or tearing. A lot of them talked about no one explaining the possible risks of vaginal birth either in appointments with their midwives/doctors or in prenatal classes but constantly being bombarded by the dangers of c-section. I'm in the US but my doctor and prenatal classes never talked about it either but they did go into great detail on c-section.

Did they ever go over the risks of complications especially possible long term complications with vaginal birth with you? i.e. prolapse, fecal incontinence, pelvic pain,vaginal gaping,bladder issues,etc...

FYI They did have me sign a consent form with possible complications listed before I was given pitocin,an epidural, my c-sections and with the flu shot they gave me. So lack of getting a list of complications is pretty rare.

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 8:52 PM on Aug. 1, 2013 in General Parenting

Answers (18)
  • Not really. That said, I delivered 3 huge babies vaginally with absolutely no issues at all. Women have been doing it since the dawn of time.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 8:56 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • You're welcome to try it at home alone. No paperwork, no one to sue.

    Answer by PartyGalAnne at 9:04 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • Yes they did. Even the possibility of death. They also stressed these complications are pretty rare.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 9:14 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • mine did, it was run by the hospital i delivered at. it was an all day Saturday class and it was great. we spent about 20 mins talking about episiotomies, forceps, what the hospitals policies were if the labor lasts long, etc. they didnt spend as much time on it as c-sections, but then c-sections are surgery, vaginal birth is natural.

    Answer by okmanders at 9:16 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • Not that I remember or cared to know. Woman have been having vaginal births for centuries so I never doubted I couldn't. I had my children at 39 & 44 too. Just keep calm & carry on!

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 9:22 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • The bladder issues aren't that rare at all, I can name 7 women just in my family,with prolapse 3, 2 long term pelvic pain and one relative that I'm pretty sure is flatus incontinent.
    Your race,ethnicity, socioeconomic status,weight and age have a lot to do with risk it as well as physical features.

    People haven't been having there first baby while obese and/or over 35 for very long at all when you consider human history. Also our ancestors almost never had babies over 8 lbs.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:35 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • I don't really remember anyone talking about possible complications from a vaginal delivery, but I do remember the doctor going over C-section risks very quickly before I had mine. It was all done in a big hurry, though, and everything was a blur.

    Answer by Ballad at 9:35 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • "Also our ancestors almost never had babies over 8 lbs."

    I'd be very interested in a citation for that assertion

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 9:40 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • Ok I wasn't expecting quite so many anecdotes with the condescending tone. Does it not matter that these women's lives have been ruined by vaginal birth from things they weren't even told were a possibility? I mean we're talking about people who's lives are run by that they can't control whether or not they poop themselves. That any part of it is natural doesn't matter to them anymore then it does to women in other parts of the world with fistula.
    The problem here is lack of informed consent.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 9:44 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

  • So you'd rather we FURTHER increase c-section rates which carry their own significant risks? What is your solution? Babies have to be born somehow. It appears that you're advocating major surgery as the primary mode of delivery. If that is not the case, please explain further.

    There are risks in EVERYTHING we do and childbirth is one of the riskier ventures. Let us dial back the hysteria a bit......saying that someone's life is "ruined" because of bladder prolapse (easily corrected) then perhaps we need to rethink what is truly important in life.

    Answer by Mrs_Prissy at 9:49 PM on Aug. 1, 2013

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