The medical bias toward cesarean births is getting out of hand. Though less than 5-10% of women ever give birth on their due dates, determined by medical science, one woman recently lost custody of her child for over three years for refusing to succumb to a cesarean birth. Though her doctors vehemently prescribed the procedure, requiring a ‘pre-authorization’ before she was anywhere near her delivery date. The article which went over the woman’s case in detail has since been removed form the Internet, but this isn’t the only example of women being urged to have cesareans when they are unnecessary and dangerous.
Hospitals have even gone so far as to go to court and try to become the legal guardian of an unborn child when women refuse to have c-sections. In one such example, a woman who had delivered six of her own children the natural way was encouraged for hours to consent to a cesarean birth because her baby was ‘large,’ though in no distress in the womb.
She had given birth to other large babies before, and wasn’t convinced she couldn’t do it on her own in this circumstance. She eventually went to another hospital and gave birth to a healthy 11-pound girl even though the original hospital measured via ultrasound that her baby was close to 15 pounds.
“After she said no to surgery, doctors spent hours trying to change her mind. When that didn’t work, the hospital went to court, seeking an order to become her unborn baby’s legal guardian. A judge ruled that the doctors could perform a “medically necessary” c-section against the mom’s will, if she returned to that hospital. Meanwhile, she and her husband checked out against the doctors’ advice and went to another hospital, where she later gave birth vaginally to a healthy 11-pound girl. ‘When I found out about the court order, I couldn’t believe the hospital would do something like that. It was scary and very shocking,’ says Marlowe. ‘All this just because I didn’t want a c-section.'”
More than a million women have C-sections now annually, a practice that not only makes recovery from birth much longer and more painful, but can also distress the baby. It isn’t unheard of for a doctor to schedule a c-section so he can get to his golf game on time, or to deliver more babies within a window of time he is required to be ‘on call.’
Conversely, natural birthing centers have such profoundly fewer c-section births – some claiming only 5% of their entire births in over ten years of service helping women deliver – that there seems to be a gross miscalculation of the true need for women to deliver non-vaginally.
Other doctors are noting that cesarean birth results in more premature births, more maternal deaths, and neonatal intensive care admissions. But the kicker? As you may have guessed, c-section birth is much more expensive than a natural delivery, from the procedure itself to the additional hospital care costs involved with a woman and child once the baby is ‘delivered.’
In 1965, only 4.5% of births needed to be c-sections, and now it is a common procedure, with more than 35% of all births being performed – not as nature intended, but with medical intervention. When doctors and hospitals can make upwards of three times the amount that can be earned with a traditional, natural birth, you have to wonder why delivering babies has become such big business.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.