Cesarean Section Births: Why Are They So Frequent?
This is a subject that is beyond baffling to me, because although I know that the first cesarean section, performed nearly 65 years ago, was a miracle and a life-saving event for both mother and baby, the misuse and abuse of the procedure today is not nearly so inspiring. The facts are staggeringly defeating to me, as I want to be as fair as I possibly can without bordering charges of malpractice, but statistics show that currently over 30% of all births in this country each year are the result of cesarean section delivery. If all births since the dawn of time were in need of this modern day medical procedure, humans would have been extinct centuries ago.
So, why the sudden influx of women being cut open in hospitals and sewn back together like pin-cushions? There is no need to guess, the horrendous statistics speak for themselves loud and clear. Epidural anesthesia is requested by nearly 86% of all women who birth their babies in hospitals. Epirdurals in themselves are considered “safe” for both mother and baby, according to the medical professionals who administer them. But much about the possible adverse side effects and broad range of risks is played down and hidden from plain view.
If mom can’t feel her contractions, she cannot help her body to focus its energy to the birth canal. This is one reason for the slowing of labor after an epidural has been administered.
What is even more disconcerting, however, is the fact that a woman who has an epidural is up to 3 times more likely to need a cesarean section. This is due to the calming and slowing effect that this paralysis drug has on mom, who is supposed to be cooperating with her contractions as she feels them. If mom can’t feel her contractions, she cannot help her body to focus its energy to the birth canal. This is one reason for the slowing of labor after an epidural has been administered.
Another way in which these drugs actually delay or reverse the natural progress of labor is that they relax the muscles that are responsible for moving the baby through the birth canal and opening the cervix. This process is completely, 100% necessary to the timely vaginal birth of an infant. With the administering of epidurals often comes the addition of Pitocin to mom’s bloodstream. The doctor knows that the epidural will slow the natural progress of labor, so he/she uses yet another drug that is meant to stimulate the same muscles that the first medication is designed to numb.
So, what happens when the Pitocin doesn’t work and the epidural has left an unborn child wedged in the birth canal of a helpless mom who has no control over her contractions? You guessed it, right on the nose. The doctor has to get on in there with a scalpel and play the surgical hero, never fully attesting to the fact that he is only cleaning up the mess that he himself created.