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Are c-sections safer?

Every other woman or young lady I talk to who has given birth in the last few years has had a c-section and almost all of them, even if they didn't get a c-section, apparently had something go wrong.

What is going on?

I guess I've been out of the loop since I gave birth with a family physician in 1976, but wow, I do not understand.

Someone explain to me what happened from then til now? I remember only two of my friends had a high forceps manipulation back then (the equivalent of most c-sections today). I don't remember why the one did but I know the other was breech.

Are there better survival rates for babies these days, maybe? Are c-sections safer?

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 2:49 PM on Jan. 5, 2010 in General Parenting

Answers (20)
  • No, they are not safer. It is all about convenience for the doctors. They don't like being on call on week-ends, holidays, or at night, so they schedule inductions during regular business hours, which lead to more c-sections because the babies aren't ready to be born. Or if they can persuade the mother, they will just schedule the surgery, which is way more convenient.

    Answer by NannyB. at 2:56 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I had two vaginal births. My friends who have HAD to have c-sections wish they didn't. My mother is a midwife and I have heard a lot. I think if for the health of the mother or child a c-section has to be done, then fine. For those who choose to have a c-section, whether it be to have the baby born on a certain day, or they don't want to go through labor, or for whatever reason they CHOOSE, I think it is a cop-out. Women were supposed to give birth a certain way. Through the birth canal. It helps squeeze excess fluids from the baby and helps them breath better. I don't think c-sections are safer unless there is something wrong. They should not be used as a convenience.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:56 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I had a very very long labor after being two and a half weeks past my due date by the time my labor contractions started. My plus came out a Friday morning contractions started Friday night straight through until finally a section Tuesday early morning from Monday night - after midnight. I also pushed for two hours after finally being 10 centimeters at 10pm that Monday night. They took their time prepping me and gathering team. That was my first birth. My son needed oxygen he was a somewhat blue being so very late and stressed and I ended sectioned. And I ended 10 days in hospital as patient on iv's for infection. My recovery from that was almost a year cuz it was combined with my husband then tdy often in army and no nearby family. This was 1987 sectioned by my ob.

    My next two deliveries were sections to ward off tough labors and deliveries. Both were easier to heal. I advise QUESTION DEMAND WHY WHY if almst 2wks late.


    Answer by lfl at 3:06 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • Depends. Generally, if a healthy delivery and no complications, there is no need for a c-section and it safer for a vaginal delivery. Sometimes, when heart rates drop, infection, size issues, etc. it can be safer for baby to have the c-section. Many women are opting for them now, it seems. And some docs will push them becuase they *think* the baby will be too big. It's the same for inductions. docs want it out or mom's don't want to be pregnant any longer. It's not usually a good thing to force the body into labor. But sometimes it is necessary.

    Answer by Anonymous at 3:11 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I don't think they are safer all the time. But I do think some are necessary. Like me for example. My water broke but it was a very slow leak. So I thought I was peeing myself. I didn't go to the doctor about it until almost 36 hours later. My son was breech. But because I had lost so much fluid, they couldn't even try to turn him. So I had to have a c-section. I didn't want one. And I begged the doc to try and turn him. But really Wesley was already under a lot of stress and it was just safer at the moment to go ahead and take him out! So that's what we did. I hope not to have another one - but will in a heart beat if it's safer, in that moment, for my baby. I won't plan for it though.

    Answer by Katt709 at 3:21 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • no

    Answer by happy2bmom25 at 4:02 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I don't think it should matter HOW the baby comes out, just as long as it is safe and healthy. These women who get all worked up about having to have a C section are just dumb. It has no bearing on you as a mother or your bond with your baby if you push them out through the birth canal of if the are pulled out via c section. WHO CARES? You have a healthy baby afterwards and that is ALL THAT MATTERS.

    As for the OP's question...I have no clue why the change but I don't tend to question a profession I have no knowledge of :)

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:04 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • I think generally, babies are larger today than they were years ago. In the 60/70s, moms were advised to severely limit their weight, to 15 lbs in some cases and these days women are gaining LOTS of weight which in turn can lead to larger babies. My first was 8 lbs, 9 oz and because he was so large, got caught in the birth canal (I'm a very petite person) and they couldn't get him out.

    Answer by missanc at 4:11 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • OP - NO it isn't safer. Actually babies/mothers are more likely to die during c-sections. And NO our birth outcomes haven't improved since 1976 and we're behind the rest of the industralized world in regards to neonatal mortality (and they do less c-sections).

    Anon404, you're treading a fine line there between trusting in doctors and being sheep to the slaughter. So you would've let them twilight you 50 years ago (if you know what we know now) just because they are professionals?
    AND how do you know everyone had a healthy baby when obviously babies die unnecessarily all the time in this country (the bad infant mortality rates) ??

    And I don't know about you but I've seen a lot of "big babies" turn out to be meek 7 or 8 pounders.

    It's b/s, OP. Most of the issues are b/s to protect their bottom line.

    If women want a safer birth they should usually do it at home w/ midwife or just plain at home..

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:20 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

  • Prime example missanc here. Look missanc, 8.9 is not a big baby unless the head is very large. And technically that's not even the definition. A big baby is usually technically over 9 lbs 4 oz and has a head/shoulder size that is proportionate. If the head/shoulder size is not proportionate(like in the fat people you speak of that have fatter babies), the baby could weigh 14 lbs and still easily fit. Another issue is, did you have an epidural? Probably, this limits positioning and the ability to feel out for a proper birthing position. Did they even suggest you get on all fours or try to prop you into a squatting position before giving you a giant episiotomy and trying to vaccuum the baby out and then cutting your kid out? Probably not because that would've been logical.. and logical doesn't help earn them money.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:25 PM on Jan. 5, 2010

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