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Caesareans vs. Vaginal Deliveries

Pushing For the Knife, Not the Baby

It is becoming increasingly popular for expectant moms to choose their baby–to–be's due date by scheduling c–sections.

According to a 2007 MSNBC report, "29 percent of all American births are done via c–section."

Christina Aguilera freely told People magazine that she opted for a caesarian delivery of baby Max. She said:

I didn’t want any surprises. Honestly, I didn’t want any tearing. I had heard horror stories of women going in and having to have an emergency c-section. The hardest part was deciding on his birthday. I wanted to leave it up to fate, but at the same time I was ready to be done early!

To keep reading about caesareans,

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In many instances, c–sections are necessary for the baby and mother's well–being. But more and more, they are elective as mums–to–be are fearful of the vaginal laboring process or its consequences (incontinence and/or vaginal tearing). And many doctors are happy to oblige the requesting patient.

In Ricky Lake's movie, The Business of Being Born, the film claims physicians and hospitals even encourage these type surgeries because it increases profits. And for some doctors, c–sections pose less liability, especially for mothers who have experienced previous c–sections.

However, caesareans are like any other surgery — risky and can be complicated by blood clots, anesthesia, or infections. And as we reported recently, having multiple caesareans can bring on other sets of complications.

What do you think about elective c–sections? Would you choose to have one?

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KerryG KerryG 8 years
It is a personal choice, but I personally think it's ridiculous to schedule a C-section because you're afraid of pain. You think cutting open your abdomen isn't going to hurt? Competent doctors are also able to minimize tearing/episiotomies for most women by counter-pressure and other techniques. My daughter was 9 pounds and 22 inches long and delivered with only minor tearing and no cutting at all. My brother (my mom's third child) was well over ten pounds and delivered with no tearing or cutting due to counterpressure and an upright labor position. I'd also be very afraid of delivering prematurely if I scheduled a C-section. Miscalculating the due date has gotten rarer as ultrasounds have improved, but it still happens. One of my aunts scheduled a C-section for her daughter and she turned out to be slightly premature and had to spend over a week in the hospital while her lungs finished maturing, with all sorts of shots and oxygen and other interventions. In contrast, I was home after two days, and my mother took my brother home less than 24 hours after his birth. (She'd had quite enough of hospitals by then, they weren't as accomodating of women who wanted to room in with their children back then.)
KerryG KerryG 8 years
It is a personal choice, but I personally think it's ridiculous to schedule a C-section because you're afraid of pain. You think cutting open your abdomen isn't going to hurt? Competent doctors are also able to minimize tearing/episiotomies for most women by counter-pressure and other techniques. My daughter was 9 pounds and 22 inches long and delivered with only minor tearing and no cutting at all. My brother (my mom's third child) was well over ten pounds and delivered with no tearing or cutting due to counterpressure and an upright labor position.I'd also be very afraid of delivering prematurely if I scheduled a C-section. Miscalculating the due date has gotten rarer as ultrasounds have improved, but it still happens. One of my aunts scheduled a C-section for her daughter and she turned out to be slightly premature and had to spend over a week in the hospital while her lungs finished maturing, with all sorts of shots and oxygen and other interventions. In contrast, I was home after two days, and my mother took my brother home less than 24 hours after his birth. (She'd had quite enough of hospitals by then, they weren't as accomodating of women who wanted to room in with their children back then.)
sweetnshy5282 sweetnshy5282 8 years
in a situation where it is medically necessary to keep either baby or mom safe a c-section should def. be used. but these days days women are choosing to have c-sections for very superficial reasons such as fear of pain, or because they don't want to get "stretched out", or in order to schedule their child's birth into their busy calendar. for these women it seems selfish and unnecessary. a c-section is a surgery. any surgery carries risks. why take a risk w/ yourself and your child if you don't absolutely need to?? I don't fault a woman for having a c-section when it is needed, it's the women who have them because of their own fears and/or wants that seems selfish to me...
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
I don't think anyone has the right to judge another person for the birthing plan they choose. There are a lot of circumstances that may require a c-section, I weighed over 10 lbs and my mom had to have a c-section. If she had a natural birth with me and my two sisters, then it would be quite possible that she would have died in labor (she had a heart disease but we didn't know until she died almost 7 years ago). I know it seems silly that some women choose to have a c-section because they are scared of tearing, but I wouldn't hesitate if I thought I wouldn't be capable of having a natural birth.
secrethoughts secrethoughts 8 years
Wow. This is so nobody's business. There are lots of reasons a woman might want a cesarian. One of my friends had such serious tearing on her first delivery, that she required over ONE HUNDRED STITCHES in her episiotomy, and I obviously don't fault her for not going the natural route for her second baby. I have another friend who has internal issues that put her at risk for incontinence, and she's not going the natural route either. I can't imagine being so pompous and self righteous as to judge anyone on what is such a personal decision.
laj7465 laj7465 8 years
I think this just shows how vain she is.
HipMom HipMom 8 years
"Nobody should fault another mother for choosing a csection. NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON!"I'm sorry, but I don't agree. When you schedule a C-section in advance simply because you are scared of labor and "to be done early" and you force into the world a baby who is only at 37 weeks of gestation and may not be ready... yes, I'm sorry, I fault her. That's just immature and a little selfish.
HipMom HipMom 8 years
"Nobody should fault another mother for choosing a csection. NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON!" I'm sorry, but I don't agree. When you schedule a C-section in advance simply because you are scared of labor and "to be done early" and you force into the world a baby who is only at 37 weeks of gestation and may not be ready... yes, I'm sorry, I fault her. That's just immature and a little selfish.
gatacrow gatacrow 8 years
I can't beleive this is even an option! It's not up to the mom, it's nature. I don't even think my insurance would cover a procedure that was elective and not "medically necessary".
abqmama abqmama 8 years
I can't stand it when people say they are afraid of the pain of childbirth. Get over it! Women have been giving birth since the beginning of time and have been fine. It's only been recently that they have even been able to have medication, deliver in a hospital with doctors available, etc. An emergency c-section that is done out of necessity is a wonderful thing, a hundred years ago those mothers and babies wouldn't have even survived. To schedule a major surgery simply for convenience sounds incredibly selfish to me. It is major surgery and still very risky. I luckily had two wonderful, naturally deliveries with no tearing or anything. I wasn't scared of the pain at all, I was scared that I would have to have an emergency c-section. Why anyone would choose that option is beyond me.
lms lms 8 years
I think it is silly to schedule a c-section b/c you are afraid of pain. My best friend did that. Her husband is a OB/GYN and he suggested that she do it.
Dbtabm Dbtabm 8 years
I think it's none of our business.
mrtruman mrtruman 8 years
my doc offered scheduling a c-section even though there was no medical reason to do so (said it's better for baby because there's less trauma but the healing time for mom is 4-6 weeks longer than natural birth). honestly, i thought about taking him up on the offer but instead elected to go the natural route. glad i did!! labor lasted only 55 minutes and there was virtually no tearing, just a small internal stitch. i guess in the end every couple needs to weigh the pros and cons and decide for themselves.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
I had an emergency c-section and I can't even begin to explain how horrible the recovery was. I couldn't get out of bed, even to change my son's diapers, I couldn't roll over. It was agony to do anything. I am disappointed that I was not able to enjoy my son's first weeks as I would have wanted to, but at the same time I am grateful for the technology that allowed us both to come through his birth healthy. That being said I will do ANYTHING in my power to avoid another c-section. I've wondered why anyone would elect to have surgery like that, and then I realized- I would imagine that all these celebrities have nannies right from the start to take care of the babies while they recover in bed.
katedavis katedavis 8 years
I had an emergency c-section and I can't even begin to explain how horrible the recovery was. I couldn't get out of bed, even to change my son's diapers, I couldn't roll over. It was agony to do anything. I am disappointed that I was not able to enjoy my son's first weeks as I would have wanted to, but at the same time I am grateful for the technology that allowed us both to come through his birth healthy. That being said I will do ANYTHING in my power to avoid another c-section. I've wondered why anyone would elect to have surgery like that, and then I realized- I would imagine that all these celebrities have nannies right from the start to take care of the babies while they recover in bed.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 8 years
I could never ever schedule the day my baby was born. I had two vaginal deliveries, 16 months apart. I was playing on the floor with my toddler, the night of my early release from the hospital (had to catch that Patriots-Colts game of '06). Birth pain is small price to pay for such PRECIOUS results.
LiLRuck44 LiLRuck44 8 years
I could never ever schedule the day my baby was born. I had two vaginal deliveries, 16 months apart. I was playing on the floor with my toddler, the night of my early release from the hospital (had to catch that Patriots-Colts game of '06). Birth pain is small price to pay for such PRECIOUS results.
babysugar babysugar 8 years
I think it's a personal thing and like many of you have said - each mother has a right to her own birthing method. I was lucky to have had a textbook delivery - no tearing, cutting or any of the above. Just wanted to let some of you know that it can happen! :)
sweetnshy5282 sweetnshy5282 8 years
I think it is selfish when women choose a c-section because they are afraid of pain or they are worried about tearing. a baby comes when a baby is ready, not whenever mommy chooses. it's not a tool to make a birth more convenient for the mother. c-section's should only be used when it is medically needed.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
Every one of my friends who has had a vaginal delivery had tearing, two of them severe tearing. I would NEVER want to go through that!! I had 2 csections...one emergency and one scheduled and after 5 days I was feeling halfway normal again. I mean, one of my friends tore from end to end! It was horrible. Now, I realize this doesn't happen to every woman, but to hear people talk about it IS scary!! Especially to a first time mother. While I do not agree with unnecessary surgery, I don't fault any woman for choosing the way they have a baby. Giving birth is not as cookie cutter a thing as people make it out to be. Lots say our bodies were meant to give birth...well, some of us have bodies that just wouldn't cooperate! In my case anyway. I had my 2nd child 18 months after my first and my doctor was worried about uterine rupture so we scheduled a csection. It was the safest way for my baby to be born without harming me. Good thing too...he was over 10 pounds.Nobody should fault another mother for choosing a csection. NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON! Mothers have enough ridicule these days to have to endure that too.
faerymagick15 faerymagick15 8 years
Every one of my friends who has had a vaginal delivery had tearing, two of them severe tearing. I would NEVER want to go through that!! I had 2 csections...one emergency and one scheduled and after 5 days I was feeling halfway normal again. I mean, one of my friends tore from end to end! It was horrible. Now, I realize this doesn't happen to every woman, but to hear people talk about it IS scary!! Especially to a first time mother. While I do not agree with unnecessary surgery, I don't fault any woman for choosing the way they have a baby. Giving birth is not as cookie cutter a thing as people make it out to be. Lots say our bodies were meant to give birth...well, some of us have bodies that just wouldn't cooperate! In my case anyway. I had my 2nd child 18 months after my first and my doctor was worried about uterine rupture so we scheduled a csection. It was the safest way for my baby to be born without harming me. Good thing too...he was over 10 pounds. Nobody should fault another mother for choosing a csection. NO MATTER WHAT THE REASON! Mothers have enough ridicule these days to have to endure that too.
gossipqueen7 gossipqueen7 8 years
ridiculous! honestly i just find that so shallow and selfish! these people obviously dont put the baby before themselves ...unless there are health risks, this just doesn't make sense to me
JennyJen2 JennyJen2 8 years
Um she didn't want any tearig so she chooses a c-section. Am I the only one thinking that unless you are a porn star - why does the tearing matter? I assume it is a little painful, but no more painful then you being cut across the stomach. Anyway - I had an emergency c-section and it was the scariest thing in my whole life. I would not opt for a surgery that I did not need and next baby I will not be "planning" a c-section.
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