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Friday, July 09, 2004

File under: WTF?

Now Salon has an article about women making the "feminist" choice of C-section over vaginal delivery. Aside from the annoying tendency of redefining feminism as a movement to give women more choices instead of a movement towards equality between the sexes, this article really bugs. I think there's something being left out in the discussion of the whole issue.
By the end of the article, I found myself questioning whether or not what I thought was true--that vaginal delivery is better and safer than C-sections, and that C-sections should be a last resort. Really, it's common sense. To put it bluntly, why cut a whole 'nother hole in your body when you already have one there expressly for that purpose? Well, this article gave some compelling reasons with stomach-turning names: pelvic organ prolapse and incontinence. I solidered on to the end of the article, even though I was turning green, and found that there are some compelling numbers to suggest that in the long-term, C-sections are less risky.
Still, I find myself suspicious. Labor and delivery are obviously really hard on some women, but that doesn't apply universally. It seems like doctors are right to be reluctant to perform a C-section on a woman who is likely to have a quick and simple delivery. I still think there's something else going on here, that it can't just be a sudden widespread agitation from women demanding C-sections.

13 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Always evaluate these medical recommendations, and medical research, with an eye to why the doc might do it. Elective C-sections are less risky from the malpractice-lawsuit angle, as should there be a problem with the child (cerebral palsy, low intelligence, etc), there is little that the plaintiff can legitimately argue from if the anesthesiology records show good maternal blood pressure throughout. Also, elective C-sections are more remunerative, and are schedulable, unlike inconvenient 2 AM spontaneous vaginal deliveries.

The academic medical centers train their residents to be selective about who gets C-Ss, only doing them in cases where medically indicated due to immediate risk to mom or baby. Once the residents set up their own practices, they may drift into the low-legal-risk, high-pay, more-convenience option more often.

NancyP

7/09/2004

 
Blogger Eric V said...

I read that article and I think that , beyond the medical pros and cons of elective c-sections , there is a certain annoyance at the fact that Mother Nature follows her own schedule and does not give a hoot about the plans of us proper corporate drones and dronettes. So of course this has to stop and giving birth must become just another item to be fit into a busy schedule. I could go out on a cynical limb and say that the parents (yes parents , the mother may make the decision using feminist principles but Dad may also be relieved that he need not be afraid of fainting at the bloody show that's a natural delivery) who choose elective c-section for reasons of convenience would be the type who will plan every minute of their children's days with no time for free play.

7/10/2004

 
Blogger Amanda said...

But that's one of the reasons I'm suspicious of this article and so-called trend--it's being explained away by a negative stereotype of feminists. You know, that they are too busy and thwarted from their own womanhood to embrace their families and their femininity. The stories I've seen are all framed in a "Feminists--what will they think of next?" sort of way.

7/10/2004

 
Blogger Mikey said...

Great job on your talk on cerebral palsy. I have a cerebral palsy secrets blog if you wanna swing by my place!

9/16/2005

 
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