Thursday, May 13, 2010

Personal reasons why I want an elective c-section

For myself, personally, I am confident that an elective c-section at term is the decision that maximizes my overall welfare and that of my child given my preference for certainty of my birth experience (a very strong desire to avoid a long labour that results in a c-section anyways), an improved ability to prepare myself both mentally and physically for the birth of my child and a desire to avoid damage to my perineum and pelvic floor. This decision is in the context of planned fertility that includes potentially no more than one future birth and research that shows no statistically significant difference in maternal morbidity or mortality for a healthy nulliparous woman giving birth at term and lower risks for the infant (Dahlgren LS, von Dadelszen P, Christilaw J, et al. Caesarean section on maternal request: risks and benefits in healthy nulliparous women and their infants. J Obstet Gynaecol Can 2009;31(9):808-17.). It is also in the context of the variability of birth experiences of my family and friends – I have friends who have had the fairy tale birth where recuperation is swift, I have also had friends who have had attempted vaginal births that have resulted in c-sections, those who have had elective c-sections for breech birth and those who have had difficult vaginal deliveries that required lengthy recuperations and subsequent surgeries. For myself, personally, I would feel disempowered and violated if I were told that my chosen method of birth (given an understanding of the risks and benefits involved) was not an option that was available to me. To be completely honest, at this point in time one of my greatest fears is that my request for an elective c-section at term (39 weeks or greater) will be denied and that I will be forced to undergo an experience that I do not desire with the potential to result in a birth experience that I would prefer to avoid.

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