At what point did we become too busy to push?
It has become increasingly popular in today’s hectic world to scroll through our Smartphones to find a good time to schedule our c-sections. Pregnant women, all too often, are so busy with work, errands for their other tykes, and family responsibilities, that they are neglecting their bodies when it comes time to deliver.
As a practicing OB/GYN, my main goal is to provide great obstetrical care. I want every day of a woman’s pregnancy to be a healthy one — including the day of delivery. I was trained — and still firmly believe — that the healthiest way to deliver a baby is vaginally.
In 2010, the U.S. cesarean section-rate hit an all-time high of 32 percent. We, as a country, have not only doubled our c-section rate, but have also doubled the rate of maternal complications, and the maternal death rate in labor — all due to the increase in cesarean sections being performed. There is a direct link between cesarean sections, maternal injury, and maternal death.
A cesarean section carries with it many risks, such as increased risk of infection, blood clots, hemorrhage with the need for a blood transfusion, longer hospital stay, longer recovery, incisional wound breakdown, and future risks with subsequent pregnancies. A cesarean section increases the chance of a woman dying in labor by 100 percent.
I am not saying that all cesarean sections are bad. Sometimes, delivering your baby by c-section is the safest way to deliver. If your baby’s heart is not tolerating the forces of labor, or if you start to experience heavy vaginal bleeding, these may be signs that you need a c-section. Other reasons to have a c-section may include: the baby is too big to fit through the birth canal, the baby enters the birth canal other than head first, or the baby’s umbilical cord slips into the vagina.
Celebrities have not helped women realize the risks of c-sections. Victoria Beckham stated she was, “too posh to push,” while Jennifer Lopez simply did not want to push out her twin babies. These are simply just not the appropriate reasons for a c-section.
Yes, you can deliver twins vaginally. No, you are not too posh to deliver your baby vaginally, the healthiest way. As a pregnant woman, you need to care about and protect your body every day — not just for the day of delivery, but also for your future pregnancies.
Talk to your OB/GYN and insist that everything be done to ensure a vaginal delivery, if possible. If you delivered by a cesarean section in the past, ask if you can deliver vaginally with this pregnancy. Eighty percent of women with a prior cesarean section will successfully deliver vaginally with their next pregnancy.
Take control of your body and insist that you are too posh to be pushed around. Know the facts, and good luck delivering your baby the healthiest way — by pushing.