Planned C-section … a better option?>
Surprisingly, some doctors say that women who are determined to schedule labor are better off planning C-sections instead of inductions. This is because a scheduled Cesarean often results in less wear and tear on a woman’s body than a long, induced labor that ends with an emergency C-section. Also, emergency C-sections are more rushed than planned ones, increasing the possibility of complications.
While ACOG is firmly against performing C-sections for nonmedical reasons, there are doctors who typically record the procedure as medically necessary. In fact, Cesarean delivery rates have increased for five consecutive years, accounting for nearly 24.4 percent of all births in 2001, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.
One doctor in her final year of residency at a hospital in Dallas, who spoke on condition of anonymity, says she may have her first child by elective C-section and that many of her female colleagues feel the same way. She is considering it after seeing a number of unsuccessful inductions and reading about the urinary incontinence that sometimes follows a vaginal delivery. She adds that while a Cesarean section is major abdominal surgery, doctors no longer cut through muscle, which makes it easier to heal from the procedure than in the past.
Still, a Cesarean delivery can take weeks and sometimes months of healing and brings an increased risk of infection and blood loss. It’s not a decision to be made lightly.
In a perfect world, we’d all be able to order the exact date of our labor and the perfect delivery; it would certainly make for a more organized birth. But our world isn’t that neat, and the birth of a child is miraculous and full of surprises. In our efforts to control labor, it’s important for a woman, her partner and doctors to examine the risks carefully and determine whether they are really worth taking.