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Benefits of Cesarean? Think Again!

The Pregnancy Zone has published an online article heralding cesarean section as safe, painless, private, easy for the baby and convenient for the mother.

The article is not attributed to any author and cites no references. Such articles are misleading, inaccurate, and should not be considered authoritative by childbearing women. Click here for evidence-based information about cesareans.

Amber Piller, co-leader of ICAN’s Omaha chapter, has written this response to the Pregnancy Zone article:

“The World Health Organization firmly states that the safest cesarean rate for both mother and baby is 10%-15%. The United State’s cesarean rate is currently at 31.8%, more than double than the safest recommended rate, and it’s rising every year. The United States ranks 29th in the world in infant mortality. Fewer babies die in countries with lower cesarean rates. Our maternal mortality rate is also on the rise. Those statistics don’t appear to be very “safe” to me.

Cesarean sections are by far more painful than vaginal deliveries. This article does not mention that after undergoing a c-section, you will not be able to care for your baby by yourself, climb stairs, or drive for two weeks after the baby is born. After I had a cesarean, it was incredibly painful to laugh, sneeze, or cough for weeks. You have a serious risk of rehospitalization due to infection. Breastfeeding is much more difficult after a cesarean, as well.

Cesareans come with more privacy and dignity? There is nothing private about a nurse shaving your pubic area with other doctors and nurses “milling about” to prepare you for surgery. Or needing a nurse to help you undress, remove the dressing over your incision and shower after the baby is born. How much dignity is there in the hours upon hours of vomiting into a plastic bucket held by a nurse or your husband/partner after the surgery? Or desperately seeking the advice of a pharmacist days after returning home because you haven’t had a bowel movement in almost a week?

No trauma to the child? The so-called trauma of vaginal birth is meant to clear the baby’s lungs of amniotic fluid. Babies delivered via cesarean have a higher risk of needing deep suctioning and stays in the NICU for breathing assistance. Baby’s heads are meant to mold to fit through the birth canal. The head will take on a “normal” shape within days of delivery.

Shame on the author of this article and for publishing it and contributing to the false perception that cesareans are safe and painless.”