Article on C-section in the Hartford Courant

Someone on an email list I’m on sent this article out; after reading it, read below to see the letter to the editor I sent. If you would also like to respond, the email address is letters at courant dot com; and the email address of the editor, if you want to send any scholarly articles that refute the information, misinformation, and bias of the article, is ajulien at courant dot com. I could have written a more in-depth response, but at the time of this writing, I’m preparing to leave for the Thanksgiving holidays, and don’t have time to pull out all the research I’ve already done, plus look for more. Anyway, what I have written, I have written. 🙂

I was disappointed by the tone of the article on women choosing C-sections for no medical reason. It appeared to laud them for their choice, while only mentioning a few of the negative side effects from choosing an unnecessary C-section — both for mother and child. And the only “medical” reason for choosing an unnecessary C-section? The fear of incontinence and “sagging pelvic organs.” It’s too bad the person who wrote the article didn’t do a bit of research into this to find out that it is not vaginal birth, per se, that does this, but rather the unphysiological manner in which birth is carried out on the woman. Older studies that looked into this of necessity had to compare women who had C-sections with women who had had huge episiotomies cut and forceps jammed up into them, because that was the routine of the time. We still have women who do not give birth in a physiological manner, but instead are made to lie in bed — for the benefit of the doctor who needs to be able to sit and relax — while pushing against gravity, oftentimes pushing with someone yelling in their faces to “purple push” — push until they are literally blue in the face, without breathing — and they still end up with too many episiotomies and forceps/vacuum births. Some recent studies have noted that women who give birth vaginally have more incontinence or pelvic discomfort than women who have C-sections — but only within the first, say, 3-6 months; after that, the difference disappears. Also, Kegels can be done to reduce or even eliminate even this problem.

Another problem with elective C-section is that it requires the woman to say before she has even had one child, that she knows for sure she does not want to have more than two children. How many doctors would perform a surgery to sterilize a young, healthy woman who comes to him to tell him that she knows for sure at age 20 or 25 that she never wants to have any more children? Yet that is precisely what is happening — women pregnant with their first child are saying, “I know right now I don’t want any more than two children, so let’s perform this surgery which is unsafe to happen more than twice.” Many women find after having one child that they want a whole housefull of children (like Angelina Jolie).

It’s just too big a decision to make lightly, and that is what this article is doing.

If you also wrote to the editor, feel free to post it as a comment to this, or if you put it on your own blog, then you can link or pingback to this. A word of advice, though, sometimes anything with links in it is diverted to “spam”, but I’ve noticed that comments that are just a link, or include more links than plain text are almost always sent to “spam.” I’ll try to be vigilant about looking through my spam, but if you post a comment and it doesn’t appear immediately on the blog or say “your comment is awaiting moderation” then it has probably gone to spam. Post another comment without any links and tell me that it has happened, so I’ll be sure to rescue your comment from spam before it’s automatically deleted.


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