Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last year in Miami-Dade County more women had cesareans than vaginal births.

This is tragic and outrageous from a medical ethics perspective. One reason for the high section rate? Virtually no docs in that part of the world carry malpractice insurance because it is too costly, so they fly bare and use cesareans as a shield if the tiniest issue crops up during labor. The rest of us pay the price of soaring medical expenses.

I also think there is something culturally different there. During my book tour, I spoke in just about every major city in this country but there was only one place -- Miami -- where a woman stood up after my talk to say that she would rather have a c-section "just because" than deal with the pain and inconvenience of a vaginal birth. It's a culture of Botox and face lifts and filling in swamp lands to build fake castles. Why do we try so hard to cheat nature?

12 comments:

kangaroo said...

thank you for your blog, and your work to support mothers and babies.

i was saddened--but sadly not shocked--by the new miami numbers. cheating nature is part of it, but are these women really offered informed consent? if a woman is given uncensored, honest risk v. benefit disclosure from her provider, will she really choose surgery? i don't want to believe so.

i also have a greater fear here. we know that VBACs are declining and primary c-sections are on the rise, so without a major trend reversal, we stand to lose normal birth as a society. what does it say about a people that doesn't hold the welcoming of a new life with the highest reverence?

Pamela said...

Tina, I think it's getting really close to that ratio in many hospitals.

Here in Oregon, providers receive reduced policy premiums if they have higher cesarean rates. Cesareans = less litigation risk.

It's nuts.

Thanks for all you do. xo

pinky said...

"if a woman is given uncensored, honest risk v. benefit disclosure from her provider, will she really choose surgery? i don't want to believe so."

Why do you not want to believe it? If a woman has been given all the information and still choses c-section it is her choice. Same as the woman who chooses VBAC. I think we should be respectful of women's decision to birth the way the want to once they have all the information.

And just because some women, not a lot where I come from, but some choose a c-section, it does not mean they do not hold their baby's birth as a very special moment. They just think differently than you do. That is OK.

We will never lose vag birth. How could we? EVen if we planned to C-section everyone, women would still be showing up to the hospital with the babys head on the perineum. In that case it is way easier to birth vag instead of c-section.

I am amazed that the Miami Dade Docs can get aways with not having malpractice insurance. That blows my mind. I would think the hospital they work for would demand it.

pinky said...

Tina I could not find an email address for you or I would have emailed you. But I wanted to ask you if there are any birth centers south of Boston or on the CApe? YOu can email me at pinkyrn@gmail.com

Thanks
Pinky

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KHodson said...

I am so glad to come across your blog and I am going to follow it. I really think that it is time Americans take a look at what they are doing to such a natural and beautiful process. Thanks for blogging. Feel free to follow mine: http://educateddecision.blogspot.com/

Morgan said...

crazy that a woman would choose to have a c-section rather than even try for a vaginal birth.

Natalie said...

I am still enjoying your blog! I just watched "The Business of Being Born" again, and was just as moved as I was the first time!

middle aged mama said...

"Pain and inconvenience of a vaginal birth?" could someone who's had a cesarean please testify to how it's "painless" and not at all inconvenient to have your belly sliced open and stictched and/or stapled? I know women who have been through four or five cesareans. they may think it's necessary, and occasionally it is, but not one of them will tell you how easy and painless it is. havng a baby is always a big deal, though people experience it in all kinds of ways, and having a cesarean is having major abdominal-pelvic surgery..convenient? maybe for a surgeon, not for a patient.

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