Birth Without Fear, a birth blog I follow via Facebook, posted an update the other day that caught my eye: “How To Avoid An Unnecessary C-Cection.” The BWF community have chimed in with suggestions for women who would like to avoid a c-section in our c-section-friendly country.
I’ve written my own list for this– you can read it here– and it’s pretty similar. The BWF folks go for “stay at home” right off the bat, but I’d add to that “stay at home in early labor.” I think staying at home (ie. having a home birth) is a great idea for some women, but not for everyone. The top item on my list of ways to avoid a c-section is always: choose a caregiver with a low cesarean rate. It’s much harder to avoid the various interventions (induction, excessive, arguably unnecessary and immobilizing monitoring, etc) that increase the chance of a c-section if your care-provider is inclined to routinely employ them. The rates of c-sections in your region and in your hospital matter, too… but the care-provider’s philosophy will probably have more of an impact on how things go for you.
In many ways, this conversation always comes back around to a) your care-provider and b) the birth you get… We have to remember that even the desired MUCH lower number of c-sections (the WHO says about 10-15% rather than our current 34%) is still a pretty large percentage of women for whom c-section will be life-saving.
Here’s the Birth Without Fear list:
Stay home (number one answer)
Avoid an induction
No AROM…artificial rupture of membranes
Hire a doula
Research and know your rights
Do not consent unnecessarily to interventions such as pitocin, constant monitoring, and epidural.
Take childbirth education classes…Bradley, Hypnobirthing, Birthing From Within, etc
Know what you want and do not waiver or compromise (of course unless baby or mom needs help)
Trust yourself, your body, your baby and birth
Ask your doctor what their cesarean section rate is. According to WHO it should be lower than 15%
Ask your midwife what her transfer rate is.
Find a OB or midwife who supports your choices (can switch at anytime)
And here’s my previous post, “How To Avoid An Unnecessary C-Section.”
Are you hoping to avoid a c-section? Do the tips on this list seem doable under your circumstances?