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Natural Birth & Parenting Natural Birth & Parenting

Informed consent

Posted by on Dec. 4, 2010 at 11:33 PM
  • 5 Replies

This was a post in another group on here, and I wanted to see what you all think.  t


DISCLAIMER: I am NOT anti c-section for medical emergencies. I believe that women have the right to treat their bodies in how they feel is responsible, so long as it does no danger to them or their future child. I am NOT an expert on medicine or obstetrics, and have never been to medical school. I would NEVER bash a mama who has had a c-section OR a vaginal delivery.

As we all know, the c section rate is at an all-time high. I am not anti c-sections, because they can save babies and mothers from risky and potentially deadly situations. However, I think that c-sections are abused in this country.

I don't think the mother is to blame anymore either. At the same time, this generation of OB's are so used to having birth "medicalized" that cesareans seem like no big deal anymore. I don't think they have malicious intentions. We, as a society, view c-sections as just a way to deliver a baby, as opposed to major abdominal surgery. If this surgery were for any other reason than delivering a child, most people would not regard it so ligthly.

Imagine a man having his abdomen opened up completely, and having his organs moved around and put back into place three times in ten years. Something like that would seem dangerous and scary to many people.

My point is that I believe that the "mainstreaming" of c-sections has led to a decline of TRUE informed consent from us mothers. In my own experience of having a c-section, as well as those I've spoken to IRL, and read in c-section forums, as well as here in Cafe Mom, OB's do not FULLY inform patients of the pros AND cons of cesarean when an elective/non-emergency cesarean is performed.

To those who have had a NON-EMERGENCY cesarean section, did your doctor tell you anything remotely similar to this:

"Hi    insert name here . I see that you have decided to have a c-section. It is YOUR body, and you CAN choose to birth whichever way you want. Legally, though, I must tell you the risks of having a c-section. They include: possible pre-term delivery if due date calculation is inaccurate, possible infant injury when the doctor makes the uterine incision, risk of damage to the mother's bowels and/or bladder, increased maternal blood loss and risk of needing a transfusion, risk of complications from anesthesia (pneumonia, allergic reactions, low blood pressure), slightly higher mortality rate for the mother, twice the risk of infant mortality, higher risk of infection and blood clots for the mother, decreased bowel function after surgery, risk of lower Apgar scores for the baby, longer hospital stay (three to five days) and longer recovery period, possible complications with breast-feeding, possible increased likelihood of clinical postpartum depression, potentially more expensive (your insurance may not cover an elective cesarean), internal scar tissue may cause problems in future c-sections, in later pregnancies, risks to the mother increase, whether she delivers by VBAC or cesarean."

Having been told all this by your OB, would you still go ahead with the elective/non-emergency c-section? I WILL NOT judge you, bash you, or discredit you regardless of what you answer. The point of this post is about OB's, NOT the choices of mothers. 

by on Dec. 4, 2010 at 11:33 PM
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Replies (1-5):
Roadfamily6now
by on Dec. 5, 2010 at 1:28 AM
Yes, I agree that true informed consent has been lost recently. And one thing I really think is terrible is the lack of education that obs give women about what happens AFTER the csection! Can they have a vbac? Will they experience secondary infertility? Are they being told about the risks for FUTURE pregnancies?
lilcntrymama
by on Dec. 5, 2010 at 1:42 AM

IMO I think it is ridiculous how many elective c-sections are preformed these days. There are times that emergency actions need to be taken, but to simply have one done instead of having the baby naturally..... I just don't know why a woman would choose this option given all of the risks you take by doing so.

jakeCafeMom Tickers


 

Pandapanda
by on Dec. 5, 2010 at 10:21 AM
I think it's got a lot to do with the fear of vaginal birth. It's going to hurt, I'll never regain tightness, what if I tear, etc. People these days seem to be more afraid of their body's natural instincts and ability to perform than surgeries in general. It's not just birthing women, either. Everything is so medicalized, and in some cases it saves lives.

But.. heart patients, transplant patients, anyone having a surgery gets extensive knowledge of the risks and procedure beforehand. Why can't that be the same for women with c-sections?
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DayDaysmom19
by on Dec. 5, 2010 at 1:20 PM


Quoting Roadfamily6now:

Yes, I agree that true informed consent has been lost recently. And one thing I really think is terrible is the lack of education that obs give women about what happens AFTER the csection! Can they have a vbac? Will they experience secondary infertility? Are they being told about the risks for FUTURE pregnancies?

I totally agree with this! I just assumed I would have a vaginal birth the next time. I was never told beforehand that I would not be "allowed" to have a vaginal birth with future children. When I went back, pregnant with number 2, that is just what I was told! It took a lot of researching on my own to realize it was safe and doable for me to have a vbac. Unfortunately I had 3 unnecessary c-sections first : ( 

DixieFlower
by on Dec. 5, 2010 at 7:32 PM

In a lot of situations I don't think it's fear. I think it's the whole "instant gratification" mindset that many people have now. If I had a penny for every time I've been told how much "easier" it is to have a C section by mom's who have had previous sections I'd be a millionaire. How we live in the year 2010 there is "no reason" to go through vaginal birth. Etc. It truly is sad. I was lucky enough to have an OB that truly encourages "natural vaginal births" Her comment to me during my first pregnancy when I told her I was going to have a natural vaginal birth was "great! I love when mother's have natural births, they tend to birth much easier than thos that are induced" I also know for a fact that she also encourages VBAC. She tried her best to get my sister to VBAC. However, my sister had it in her head that she was going to have another C section :(

Quoting Pandapanda:

I think it's got a lot to do with the fear of vaginal birth. It's going to hurt, I'll never regain tightness, what if I tear, etc. People these days seem to be more afraid of their body's natural instincts and ability to perform than surgeries in general. It's not just birthing women, either. Everything is so medicalized, and in some cases it saves lives.

But.. heart patients, transplant patients, anyone having a surgery gets extensive knowledge of the risks and procedure beforehand. Why can't that be the same for women with c-sections?


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