Cesarean surgery can be life-saving for both mothers and babies. C-sections are not bad things, in and of themselves. But in the United States almost one third of babies are born by cesarean, mostly unnecessarily. These excess surgeries, above and beyond those which are truly necessary, put moms and babies at unnecessary risk for all kinds of complications that they would not face during a normal vaginal birth. This article summarizes a study which found that babies born by cesarean are more vulnerable to certain infections and allergies than babies born vaginally. This includes bacteria linked to food poisoning, and MRSA.
All expectant mothers face the risk of a cesarean, and unless you prepare to avoid one, you may find yourself on the receiving end of an unnecessary surgery. There are things you can do to avoid an unnecessary c-section:
- Hire a birth attendant with a low c-section rate. 10-15% is the maximum, including high-risk women. If your practice’s rate is higher than this, or if they won’t or say they “cant” disclose their rate, find a better practice.
- Avoid induction unless absolutely necessary. Be sure to research what are true valid reasons for induction; most women who are induced were not induced for medical reasons and induction doubles your risk of ending up with a c-section.
- Hire a doula. Women with doulas are half as likely to end up in surgery.
- Take a comprehensive childbirth class that teaches you not only how to handle labor, but how to be a smart consumer when it comes to your health.
- Eat well, making sure you get a wide variety of foods and 75+ grams of protein per day during pregnancy.
- Stay active during your pregnancy, exercising at least 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.