Thursday, September 25, 2008

Natural Vaginal Birth vs C-section

I came across the SA-based article and found the following quite interesting

"Like Catherine's doctor, Dr Jack Pretorius, an obstetrician and gynaecologist in private practice, believes that a woman should have a caesarean section if she wants one. 'I'm easily persuaded,' he admits. 'If a girl says she's too scared, I'll do a caesar. A birth without pain relief is idiotic, and the idea that you don't bond with your baby without pain is absurd; there's no logic in it.

'Long labours went out with the Boer War. A doctor has to be gentle with his patients; it's a joint decision. I'd put all the options to her, but it's her body. A caesarean section is quick and easy; there's no doubt that it's the ideal way to have a baby.'"

And this about sums up why we have such a horrendously high c-section rate! This man obviously has no clue about research by people like Michel Odent which shows there is clearly a link between the hormones of childbirth and the effect on bonding. And to call it "idiotic".... well that just takes the cake.

I'm glad they had a midwife to give her views on natural childbirth but it's really sad that the focus of her comments came across as rather new-agey:

'Natural birth is better for the mom and the baby,' she asserts. 'There's no satisfaction in having an epidural caesar. Birth is a right of passage, an adventure, a journey that a woman takes to become a mother. It's not just a physical experience; it encompasses the heart, the spirit and the psyche. How you give birth affects your relationship with your baby, your mother, your partner and yourself.

'It's a battle and it's painful but afterwards you can look back and say "Look what I did!" After a water birth at home the woman can get out of the pool, have a pee, eat something and get into bed with her baby. It's a family event; a celebration. An epidural isn't a spiritual experience!'

She could have said *why* natural childbirth is better for the mother, instead of just having an open-ended statement like that. As so many women are scared of pain in childbirth, why not rather talk about the importance of pain and how it can be managed? What women, terrified of pain and that she'll never have sex again, is going to be persuaded by the idea of it being a spiritual experience?

The most ridiculous comment of all?

And, indeed, horror stories abound of women whose babies were born prematurely because the doctor induced labour before leaving for Mauritius on holiday, or performed a caesar because he was due on the golf course at 2.00pm. But the blame for unnecessary inductions can't be laid solely on the doctors who perform them.

'Many girls say they don't want to be induced,' says Dr Jack Pretorius, 'And I have no problem with getting up at night to deliver a baby. But at least 50% of my patients are dying to get it over by 38 weeks.'

Of course the blame is solely the doctors! What the hell?! It is the doctors responsibility to do things that are best for the mother and baby, and inducing at 38 weeks just because of the mothers preference is downright irresponsible! It is his responsibilty as care provider to explain why it is important to wait and to help the woman find ways to cope. If midwives can do this, then why can't he?!

1 comment:

Maureen Keet said...

I was a patient of Dr. Jack Pretorius for over 30 years, and let me tell you, you the one that does not know what you are talking about and really rude, I was sent to Dr. P after having my two children naturally what a disaster, my previous Dr. did not arrive on time.
Hence cut by labor rn, still today problems, wish I had a c section, would of spared my so many many years of pain suffering and problems.