Cesarean sections, a widely recognized method of childbirth, have been the topic of much debate in recent years. The discussion revolves around the seemingly contradictory issues of overuse and underuse of this medical procedure. A closer look reveals an alarming global crisis that requires our immediate attention.
Overuse of Cesarean Sections
Cesarean sections, also known as C-sections, are becoming increasingly common, especially in developed nations like the United States. The frequency of this surgical procedure has been steadily increasing for the past decade and a half, raising concerns among medical professionals and birth advocates alike.
Overuse of C-sections isn’t just a local issue—it’s a global one.
“These wide variations between countries and even between regions in the same country tell us that something is very wrong.” – Dr. Marleen Temmerman
The Illustrious Dr. Marleen Temmerman
Dr. Marleen Temmerman, an esteemed Belgian obstetrician/gynecologist and a global leader in women’s reproductive rights, has significantly contributed to the discussion. A distinguished figure in the field, she has held prestigious positions such as the director of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research for the World Health Organization and the founding director of the International Centre of Reproductive Health at Ghent University. Her current role as the Director of the Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University in Nairobi, Kenya, continues to influence the conversation around C-sections.
Dr. Temmerman’s personal experience with pregnancy losses, IVF, and being advised to have a C-section brings a deeply empathetic perspective to her work.
The Under-Access Issue
In stark contrast to the overuse of C-sections lies the issue of under-access. In many parts of the world, women lack the necessary access to C-sections even when their health or the health of their child is at risk.
Understanding the Cesarean Crisis
A comprehensive understanding of the cesarean crisis requires an examination of both extremes—overuse and under-access. Dr. Temmerman has made significant strides in drawing attention to these issues, particularly through her extensive research and publications.
One of her most influential works is a series of articles on the cesarean crisis published in The Lancet, one of the world’s oldest and most respected medical journals. She has also presented her team’s findings at FIGO, the largest international obstetrics conference, raising awareness about this pressing issue.
The Why’s Behind the Overuse
Several factors contribute to the overuse of C-sections:
- Misconceptions about cesarean sections
- Lack of understanding about natural births
- Fear of childbirth complications, such as breech births
The Role of Midwives
Midwives play a critical role in childbirth, guiding women through the process and providing much-needed support. Every birthing person, regardless of their chosen delivery method, can benefit from having a midwife present.
Midwives can be instrumental in reducing the overuse of C-sections.
For instance, groups like Midwife360, offer VBAC support for home birth and water birth in Palm Beach County. This initiative provides women with an alternative to C-sections, promoting natural childbirth and empowering women to have control over their birthing experience.
Impacts of C-Sections
C-sections can have various impacts on both mother and child. While it can be a life-saving procedure when necessary, it also has potential risks and long-term effects, particularly when used unnecessarily.
Advocacy and Prevention
Finally, women can play an active role in preventing unnecessary C-sections. By advocating for themselves and their desires during childbirth, women can help to shift the narrative and change the current trend.
Planning Your VBAC in Palm Beach County
The dual dilemma of C-section overuse and underuse is a pressing issue that affects women worldwide. By understanding the factors at play and making the best decisions for your body you can plan a healthy and safe VBAC. Contact Midwife360 for a consultation.