"I'm Getting One of Those NATURAL C-Sections"

Just when I thought I had heard it all, somebody comes up with the idea of a "natural cesarean."

Yes, I realize that some women do NEED cesarean birth, and yes I realize that should it be needed, it should be as pleasant and family oriented as possible. But this idea is ludicrous.

What have they been doing to women so far? The cruel and unusual cesarean? The answer is YES. Most women who have c-sections experience them in a very traumatic way for many reasons.

The first problem with the gentle c-section is that all along they have been doing them with cruelty, excessive force, and no thought for the bonding or experience of the mother and family.

(Although, lets be real about this. When the c-section first started being used, it was only used in true EMERGENCY situations. If your baby needs to come out NOW, do you want the doctor to take extra time to make it a better experience? No- you want a baby that is alive. Thus the c-section.)

My guess- doctors were trained to do c-sections in case they were needed. However, things have obviously changed for the worse and they are being done ALL THE TIME when often not needed. So, despite the fact that they could be slower and more gentle, training is training and that is how things are done.

Here enters the natural or humane c-section.

Honestly this is how I see this playing out:
Scene 1- Mama at Doctor "L's" office for checkup-

Dr L-
"Upon doing your vaginal exam it looks like your pelvis is a little on the small side, and last weeks ultrasound shows that the baby is quite big. It may not be needed, but just so you are not surprised if it happens, there is a good chance you will need a c-section."

"Umm what? I was planning on a natural birth. How can you tell already that I need a c-section? And I am really scared of surgery and needles and healing time..."

Dr L-
"What really matters is that you have a healthy baby, right? Anyway- you don't get any gold stars for going natural. After all, epidurals are good for babies.
And as far as the c-section goes, they have really come a long way. I now do "natural" c-sections so you can still have a great birth experience."

"How can a cut in my abdomen be "natural"? That just doesn't sound like the normal way for a baby to come out.

Dr L-
"Oh, I'm glad you asked. Now when we do the section we bring the baby out slowly so it can adapt to life outside the womb, just like in a natural birth. And, you get to hold your baby right away (with the hand that isn't strapped down). It is a really pleasant experience."

"So I can have a "natural" c-section...... Do your patients like this?"

Dr L-
"Oh yes, it is great for everybody. You still get to pick when you have your baby, but you get the bonuses of a peaceful birth experience without having to go through all that painful labor, just to have that end in a c-section. Truthfully, it is really hard for first time mom's to do it naturally and there is no reason to do it. Why not use the tools available to you? I mean, medicine can't be bad, we invented antibiotics!"

"OK, well I will have to think about this. Thanks for preparing me before hand so I could get used to the idea. "
Once again, obstetrics, ACOG and modern medicine with twist something that could be used well for the few and make it something that everybody wants, that maximizes profit, makes scheduling easier, and continues to undermine and damage women and babies at their most vulnerable.

I want to PUKE. I wish something like this could really just be used in the instances where it was necessary. But remember what else is only rarely needed and yet used all the time....

I will give you the short list:






Cutting the VAGINA


Fetal Monitoring

The powers that be have a horrid track record. It would be a miracle if they don't screw this up too.


Unknown said…
I know you added some sarcasm to it, but you really hit the nail on the head with how everyone mangles "natural" with something so totally NOT and expects everyone to go for it. I have no doubt there will be misuse of this new thing in order to increase c-section rates and the costs of pregnancy. Keep on informing people the way you do! You're doing a great job.
Anonymous said…
why is cutting the vag bad? my son came out so fast i tore all kinds of bad, i wished i had gotten a clean cut! do explain please?
L- cutting the vagina is bad because tearing is more natural. Think of it like this... If you were trying to rip the neck of a t-shirt it would be hard, but if you were to cut it a tiny bit first it would rip a lot easier. Your vagina is like that. If you cut it first there's nothing to say it won't tear anyways and become worse because it's already been cut.
January said…
Gross. Kind of like 'natural' food that is still crap? I'll be sharing this on FB!
Lorelei said…
@L: A clean cut does not heal as quickly as a tear can. The reason is that because we have layers of skin, if there is a tear, all the layers do not tear at the same spot, and often it fits back together like a jigsaw puzzle and are able to help support each other as they heal. When it is cut, all the layers are cut in the same place, there is no overlap, and it doesn't heal as fast. Also, with the cutting, quite often episiotomies are done for women who may have stretched just fine without being cut. Even more often, it is done without that woman's consent.
Mama Birth said…
Thanks Ladies- and to L- though already answered- women tend to tear much further and worse with a cut first. I can testify that I had one epi and tore along my scar for my next two births- the tears healed much quicker and were much less painful.
Often the way women are positioned (on your back, more likely to tear badly) and the perenium supported (or not, or if vaccume or forceps are used) and their ability to feel (like if they had an epidural or not) are also huge factors in if they even tear-
Not to mention pregnancy prep that you can do to strengthen and prepare the area (massage, nutrients, squatting, kegels, etc)
Women are still often sold the idea that a cut heals better- it is however not true-
Good question and thanks for bringing it up-
Lynda said…
I've had 2 home waterbirths, and didn't tear with either one. Sweet daughter, 7 lbs 4 oz, 3 1/2 hours, vaginal tracks due to a nuchal hand, but no tears. Dear son, 9 lbs even, 4 1/2 hours, tiniest nick due to his very wide shoulders, no tears. Had I been in a hospital...*shuddders*... I don't even want ot imagine how a Dr would have handled my son's birth... No cuts or tears here, none needed, thank you! My secret? Perineal massage throughout pregnancy, warm waterbirth, not on my back for delivery, follow my body's urges and instincts, push when I feel like it (I never actively pushed with my son, until the very last push, to get his shoulders out). Follow your body... it's meant to push babies out, when left ALONE!
Anonymous said…
thankyou so much to everybody that replied! I'm hoping to get pregnant again soon so all this information will help me out soon enough :)
Anonymous said…
While I understand that a lot of Drs may use this in the way you describe I can't help but take offence. I am pushing for one of these "natural" c sections. The Drs who developed it prefer to call it Gentle or Walking the Baby Out. Calling it "natural" is misleading and was coined by journalists. For women like me who have little to no choice in giving birth vaginally this is a Godsend. I always wanted to give birth vaginally without meds, preferable at home in water, and that was taken away from me when I had severe complications with my pregnancy. I would love to advocate that women in my special situation are given the choice in using this gentle c section method. The fact of the matter is that most Drs outside of the UK and Australia where this procedure was developed haven't even heard of it and if they had they would never even attempt it for fear of the unknown. I understand your frustration but please understand mine. This procedure is nothing but a blessing for me and other women like me. I'd ask that you post an actual link to the published procedure so that your readers can be further informed.
Mama Birth said…
Thanks for reading-
It is perfectly understandable that you would be offended. I believe the blog is offensive- it is meant to be on some level, though certainly not to mothers who have suffered like yourself.
I tried very hard to be clear that of course this should be used when it can be. I will not however back down from my assertion that this will only make the unnecessary c-section more appealing to both doctors and to women who may or may not need them. Sadly there is a good chance that this will cause an overdone surgery to be even more over done.
I did post a link to an interview with the doctors who came up with the idea on my FB page- you can see it there. The doctors who came up with do however refer to it as a "natural c-section."
Thanks for your input and I wish you happiness, peace and bonding in your future births.
Emily said…
Just stumbled upon your blog. I understand your point, but I wanted to make another one. I have had two c-sections. The first was a traumatic one — I had preeclampsia, and they induced my baby 6 weeks early. My blood pressure had suddenly risen to 200/100, so I saw the need. I had taken a Bradley Method class, and my husband and I used what we'd learned and felt prepared, but we had a doctor who wasn't ours, was pushing a c-section, and when we declined he turned sarcastic and mean. After two days, I was getting sicker and my daughter was struggling, so we agreed to the section. It was a hard experience.

With my son, I had a midwife, doula and doctor all on my team to avoid the trauma of the last birth. I was dialated to a 10 for more than 11 hours and he wasn't able to come down into my pelvis. It's rare, but it does happen. I agreed to the c-section, but had a team that was respectful of my wishes, needs and concerns. It wasn't the birth I had planned for or wanted, and it wasn't natural, but it was as gentle as it could be. I wasn't tied at either arm, and I held my son immediately, and was able to breastfeed soon after. Both were c-sections, but the experiences couldn't have been more different.
when I had my son Iw as cut twice and then ripped thru to my bottom hole, as hubs puts it one big hole. I had to be induced for my diabetes. but was induced one week to the day of my due date,I did quite well for my diabetes being pregnant. Im to scared to go with a epidural Im afraid the pain will tkae to much from me to survive the after birth. Idont know if that makes sense.....
elegraph said…
Wowee... do Drs. really say that epidurals are "good" for babies??

Very interesting post. Thanks.
Mama Birth said…
I was referring to a statement made by Dr Lisa on "The Doctors" in which she tells a mother that the epidural is good for the baby and does not pass to the baby- information that is false and should not be encouraged by a MD- She was the person who I was pointing to and the doctor whom I modeled the doctor after-
Thanks for reading-
Laura said…
Are there more c-sections in the States than in Canada? It seems that may be the case. Although there are still a lot of them here, I think. I bet if I watched an afternoon of A Baby Story (on TLC), half of them would be, "Well, things aren't progressing quickly enough. We need to get this baby out. If things don't pick up soon, we're going to have to do a c-section." ::eye roll::
Mrs. W. said…
So what if a woman, being informed of the risks and benefits of cesarean and natural birth chooses to have a cesarean? Why shouldn't she have the choice and why shouldn't it be a pleasant experience? Patient centred care that puts the interests of moms and babies ahead of ideology should be the goal - so why be so cynical? Vaginal birth isn't risk free either and if technology has advanced to a point where the risks are comparable - should it not be the mother's call on the birth plan chosen? Why withold access to cesarean to only those who medically require it when there are many others who could benefit, even if it is not strictly medically neccessary.

Demanding women undergo natural birth if at all possible is just as ridiculous as demanding women have cesareans even if a vaginal birth is possible....
Unknown said…
What? That is completely and totally made up. You made that up.