Tuesday, September 22, 2009

A C-section Makes You a Failure

The "only-a-vaginal-birth-will-make-you-a-real-woman" discourse does everything it can to make women who have C-sections feel like something is wrong with them. One way to achieve that is to link the words "C-section" and "failure" in women's minds. Usually, it's done thorugh constant reiteration of "Don't think you are necessarily a failure for having a C-section!" In this way, the idea is planted in people's minds that having a C-section is somehow related to feeling as a failure. Women who would have never connected these things might start linking them in their minds after being brainwashed in this manner during their entire pregnancy.

Here is an example of this ideological device being used by the web-site called www.surgery.com, the motto of which is "Helping Surgery Patients every Day": "Undergoing a c-section may also inflict psychological distress on the mother, beyond hormonal mood swings and postpartum depression ("baby blues"). The woman may feel disappointment and a sense of failure for not experiencing a vaginal delivery." This, of course, is completely ridiculous. Why should a woman feel like a "failure" because of having a medical condition (such as, for example, a low placenta) that requires a C-section? What is so particularly fulfilling about a vaginal birth that a C-section cannot provide? Can't women who deliver vaginally have postpartum depressions? 

But nobody cares about the truth or the objective facts. The only goal of this idiotic propaganda is to create a connection between C-sections and a sense of failure in people's minds. This is absolutely disgusting.

P.S. The picture has nothing to do with the post but it's the building where I work and I love it so much that I wanted to put it here to offset the horrible impressions this disgusting brainwashing leaves in my mind. 


Anonymous said...

Nothing is wrong with c-sections that are medically necessary. However, I think statements like, "Having a c-section does not make you a failure," are propaganda from the medical establishment. They are trying to make women more comfortable with the idea of c-section, because frankly, they're doing so many of them! (Almost 1/2 of births) It's so much easier to surgically remove a baby than to labor-sit for hours and hours... There are patients waiting in the office! Dinner is waiting at home! The golf buddies are waiting to tee off! Better just hurry up and section her! Nevermind the physical and emotional risks!

Anonymous said...

oops, that was supposed to be 1/3 of births. sorry!

Clarissa said...

As far as I know doctors work in shifts with a determined number of hours. So your idea that they prefer C-sections because that lets them go home early makes no sense.

There is absolutely no propaganda in favor of C-sections, I don't know where you find it. There is, however, endless and annoying propaganda in favor of vaginal births.

Karla said...

After having an emergency c-section the first time, I knew that I didn't want to deal with the pain and recovery for my second child. I had horrible postpartum depression, couldn't cough/sneeze without being in excruciating pain, needed help sitting and rising from the toilet, had to go up/down the steps sideways because my abdominal wall was severed. I didn't feel like a failure, but I felt like nature didn't get its chance to take its course. In turn, my body chemistry was thrown out of wack b/c of (necessary) human intervention.

During the prenatal check ups for my second child, I advised all of the practice doctors of my birthing plan to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean). One week before the baby was due I met with last of the practice doctors and he basically tore into me for wanting to have a VBAC. Their fear is a rupture or some issue that could happen while you are laboring that would cause you to sue them. When your body is doing what it is designed to do, the doctors lack control. So by scheduling the c-section one week prior to your due date they have the best chance of controlling what would become variables in a normal delivery. I wound up finding a different doctor to deliver the baby via VBAC. I didn't have postpartum depression and I bounced back 100 times faster.

Clarissa said...

"Their fear is a rupture or some issue that could happen while you are laboring that would cause you to sue them. "

-Do you think it is at all possible that there is a doctor oon the planet who is genuinely worried about a patient's well-being and not just about being sued??

"When your body is doing what it is designed to do, the doctors lack control."

-I find your paranoia about the doctors' desire to control you at any cost a little disturbing.

As to the body "doing what it's designed to do", designed by whom? Did the being who designed it actually tell you in person what our bodies were designed to do? :-) Today, most of what your body does wasn't there initially. In prehistoric times, human beings did not have 80+ life spans. We "were designed" to get old and die by the age of 30 at most. Why aren't you as insistent on carrying out this part of the "design"?

Let's all abandon our comfortable homes, our electricity, dentists, doctors, A/C and go live in the wilderness to "let nature take its course."

Anonymous said...

"As far as I know doctors work in shifts with a determined number of hours. So your idea that they prefer C-sections because that lets them go home early makes no sense."

I think it makes sense. Most OB practices have "on call" days at the hospital. If the doc on call doesn't have a woman in labor/being induced, he or she doesn't have to be there. And if the doc does get called in, sectioning a woman allows him/her to be done in about 45 minutes, as opposed to waiting out a labor that takes hours and hours. And yes, it's true, the on call shift could end before the woman delivers... But then the next doc on call will get the case, and therefore, the payment for the delivery, whether c-sec or vaginal delivery. So why not do the section, take the payment, and go home? There is no incentive in the system to wait out a woman's natural labor.

I think there are some docs on the planet who are genuinely worried about patients' well-being. Just not in the field of obstetrics. ACOG itself has admitted that its doctors make decisions based more on the potential for liability than patients' best interests. http://www.acog.org/from_home/publications/press_releases/nr09-11-09.cfm

I'm not sure why you are so defensive about Karla's comment about the body doing what it's supposed to do. Human female bodies were made to give birth to their offspring. How else would the species have survived? Actually, most of the basic functions our bodies perform have been around since prehistoric times. Eating, sleeping, breathing, urinating, defecating, copulating, and yes, birthing. Just because better nutrition and lack of predators has expanded our lifespan doesn't mean we are doing something we weren't "designed" to do. We "let nature take its course" in the rest of the aforementioned ways. Why is birth any different? C-sections are lifesaving when needed, but when not needed, they are surgery, with all the inherent risks of surgery.

Clarissa said...

Dear Anonymous,

human bodies "were made" to die before we reach the age of 30 since prehistoric times. However, thanks to the advances of modern medicine, we can now live past 80.
Do you know what infant mortality rates used to be since prehistoric times and well into the XIX century? Do you know how many women died in labor? Our female bodies "are made" do get pregnant every year since we hit puberty and then die in childbirth.

Today, however, we do not follow this "natural" plan, do we? We do not let nature take any course whatsoever. EVERYTHING in our life is actually about avoiding nature. The kind of food we eat (unless, of course, you are into raw meat), our heating, airconditioning, medicine, even the simple fact of washing our hands goes against "nature." So please, spare me the pontification about your natural lifestyle. Neither you nor I wold survive a week in the jungle. Unlike our prehistoric predecessors.

As to the risks of scheduled C-sections, maybe you can allow the women who want them to decide whether they want those "risks" or not?

Anonymous said...

Look, I agree that women have every right to choose an elective c-section, as long as they are FULLY INFORMED of all the risks vs. benefits, just as they should be fully informed of all the risks vs. benefits of a vaginal delivery. But from what I have seen and heard, women are not being given all the facts upfront. The risks of surgery are often minimized, the possibilities of complications (in mother and newborn) are often not discussed. That's not informed consent, that's bad medicine.

As for your red herrings about dying before the age of 30 (do you have any citations for that, since you keep repeating it?) and "natural lifestyles," you are comparing apples to oranges. Yes, women died in childbirth. It's not without risk, and I never said it was. It's an unfortunate fact of evolutionary biology that our big craniums have to pass through a pelvic opening juuuuust the right size to accomodate it. Things can and do go wrong. In those cases, c-sections are necessary and lifesaving. No one would argue with that.

But that's not what you're talking about. You're talking about choosing surgery with no clinical indication. That's a valid choice, for sure, just as it's a valid choice to have a non-medically indicated surgery for breast augmentation, facelift, tummy tuck, etc. People have every right to choose those things. But in the US healthcare system when people choose those things and the rest of us have to pay (through higher insurance premiums or taxes to Medicaid), that's plain wrong. We don't subsidize people's breast implants and we don't need to subsidize non-medically indicated c-sections.

My point is: Women can make the choice if they are fully informed and fully prepared to foot the bill for that choice if it is not medically necessary.

Clarissa said...

"The life expectancy in prehistoric times was low, 25–40 years,[10] with men living longer than women; archaeological evidence of women and babies found together suggests that many women would have died in childbirth, perhaps accounting for the lower life expectancy in women than men."


Enter "prehistoric lifespan" into Google and you will discover that what you deem "a red herring" is a well-known fact that kids usually learn in second grade.

As to this talk about some huge conspiracy that conceals facts from women who want to have elected C-section, have you gone to a doctor to schedule a C-section? I guess not, becausse if you did you wouldd know that every doctor and nurse within a 500-mile radius will hound you to death with their completely over-exaggerated discourses on risks of C-sections.

Your contention that you don't want your taxes to pay for women to choose safer ways to give birth, I have to tell you that I don't like women-haters. You don't seem to mind that your taxes go to give immense bonuses to Wall Street crooks, that your tax money goes to maintain unwinnable wars across the globe, but you begrudge a few women their C-sections?

Why do you hate women so much? Did your Momma beat you or something?

Clarissa said...

By the way, since I'm not a cheapo like you, I would not mind my tax dollars going to pay for a psychologist who would help you deal with your childhood trauma and turn you from a woman-hater into a healthy human being.