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Cesarean Section Delivery isn’t Failure…It’s ‘Plan B’
If I had a nickel for the many times I’ve heard a laboring patient say, “I really don’t want a Cesarean Section!” In addressing their labor concerns, often times I try re-clarifying with them what they really mean in saying “I don’t want a Cesarean Section”. I believe what most of our patients really mean is:
“I’m really ‘hoping’ for a vaginal birth”…
“If I had a preference for delivery, it would be vaginally, rather than by Cesarean Section”…
“If circumstances arise for which a Cesarean Section would be better for the health and safety of my baby, I’d definitely agree to Cesarean Section delivery”…
Though most babies in this country are delivered vaginally, many patients are surprised to learn that nearly 1 of 3 babies in the US are delivered by Cesarean Section. I try to assure our patients of our adherence to standardized guidelines in regards to when a Cesarean Section is recommended. I inform them that these guidelines are fairly well established in the care of obstetrical patients, and are set to identify potential fetal concerns for when continuing a route toward vaginal birth could be risky. Some of the common reasons for recommending a Cesarean Section in labor include:
- Concerns for fetal ‘stress’ in labor (as evidenced by abnormalities noted in the fetal heart rate monitored tracing,) and
- The cessation of labor progress, either in the active or pushing phases of labor (which may signal the concern of whether your pelvis will actually accommodate a successful vaginal birth.)
Even for us, your healthcare providers, the primary preference for delivery is by vaginal birth. Thank goodness, we have an alternative route for delivery…when necessary. Let’s stop thinking of a Cesarean Section as a ‘failed’ birthing experience. A ‘healthy’ birth is an awesome birth! Even when it’s accomplished by an alternate route.
Suzanne Hall, MD (@drsuzyyhall)
Eastside Gynecology Obstetrics, PC
Offices in Grosse Pointe, Roseville, Macomb, and Rochester, MI