In response to the Today’s Show “Live in the OR” segment that showed a scheduled cesarean in progress , ICAN is appalled by the lighthearted tone and lack of in-depth information regarding cesareans. Dr. Nancy Snyderman downplayed the risks of cesareans while adding to the myth that suspected fetal macrosomia and being postdates are true absolute indicators for a cesarean.
We believe this type of media coverage is negligent and clearly spreads misinformation. Many women, especially those undergoing a first cesarean tend to fare reasonably well in terms of physical healing. That said, cesarean should never be the primary goal without serious medical reason, due to higher risks and poorer short- and long-term outcomes for both mother and baby compared to vaginal birth, even with a suspected larger baby and “post dates” pregnancy. We believe this segment strengthens the myth that a cesarean is easier and safer for mothers and babies in spite of clear scientific evidence to the contrary. Most women are not counseled as to the long-term consequences of a cesarean, including the increased risks of injury and death to both the mother and baby in any future pregnancy . ICAN challenges The Today Show to take a more critical look at the deepening crisis in U.S. maternity care rather than producing frivolous “medical” pieces that misrepresent the seriousness of cesareans and ignore the role the skyrocketing cesarean rate plays in one of the poorest maternal and fetal mortality rates in the developed world.