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Cesarean Awareness Month: Know Your Rights

April is Cesarean Awareness Month

Cesarean section is performed way too often in the United States and elsewhere.  While this major surgery saves lives, it does come with many risks.  Informed consent and informed refusal is supposed to be used in all medicine.

Consumers are given information by medical providers, they talk to friends, and look for information on the online super highway. It is important that someone knows the facts, and understands both the benefits and the risks of cesarean-section. Someone can say yes or no to any of it.

The real benefit is saving the life of the mother, the baby, or the Motherbaby.

Risks include infection, death, scar complications, increased risk of asthma and diabetes for baby, and risks for women in future pregnancies. You can read this article for more information and details about all of this.

If a person hasn’t done their research they may:

  • be persuaded into cesarean for a non-medical reason (past “due” date)
  • choose from fear (such as being told a baby is too big)
  • go for an induction for a non-medical reason

According to Improving Birth, 1 in 3 women in the United States give birth by cesarean, and the United States has the highest maternal death and injury rate of all developed nations. This is despite the fact that we spend the most money on maternity care.

Dr. Neel Shah has been investigating this alarming trend. What he has discovered is that what might just matter the most, in the U.S., is which hospital you give birth in.

In some countries, like Brazil, Turkey and Dominican Republic the cesarean rate is higher than 50%!!  This is a travesty, and an assault on women.

Women know how to give birth. It is so important for consumers, and doulas to learn all they can, to use knowledge as power. There are many ways you can avoid cesarean.  And, you can have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

For more information on cesarean or VBAC please check out these resources:

International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN)

National Library of Medicine

VBAC project

VBAC Facts

World Health Organization (WHO)



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