Saturday, August 24, 2013

Being "Open" about "Cesarean by Choice"

It is not easy being a cesarean by choice mom - either, you are open about your views on how you prefer your child is born or you keep them private with a very tight circle of "need to knows", with only your doctor, your husband and yourself knowing about your choice. In the worst scenario you repress doing what you really want to do and subject yourself to a process that you find, well kind of horrifying, all because a bunch of people who may not even be in the delivery room or changing the dirty diapers afterwards think it is what you "should" do.

I have come to the conclusion, that how women prefer to birth, is a part of "who" we are - and maybe women should not be so quick to hide or repress that part of ourselves - or at the very least women should should not hide it anymore than women would hide any other aspect of ourselves. That is not to say that women should not discuss the available delivery options with our care providers - along with their respective risks and benefits. That is also not to say that women should make choices based on misconceptions about the options available - if it is purely the pain of vaginal delivery that is the problem, then there might be appropriate alternatives to address that. But rather - we should be free to make a *medical decision* for ourselves, and to be comfortable with those choices, regardless of what they happen to be.

I think there is a lot of damage done, when how women prefer to birth is some kind of taboo, where only the dominant choice is seen as being socially acceptable. I think it is awful, that many women who prefer to birth by cesarean - feel the need to be ashamed of that choice. I think it is awful, that women cannot respectfully discuss their preferences with respect to birth. I believe women who prefer cesarean are just as deserving of a supportive community as those who prefer natural unmedicated childbirth, or medicated vaginal delivery. I believe women who prefer cesarean are just as deserving of access to care that respects that choice. I think that by failing to recognize cesarean by choice as valid - myths about cesarean and vaginal birth are allowed to remain, and instead of supporting each other to make the best choices for ourselves, many women either make a personally wrong choice or feel isolated by the choice that they have made.

Being cesarean by choice, is as much a part of me as being a mother, being an economist, being an agnostic, being a liberal, being a wife, being thirty-something - and I am not ashamed of that.

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