Our local ICAN of SEPA:
I'm also linking a story here that offers a great explanation as to why we fight so hard to help mothers avoid their primary (and too often unnecessary) cesareans and to birth vaginally. It details the risks and dangers to mothers of multiple cesareans. This mother is not alone, more and more of these examples are making news because they are becoming more prevalent problems in pregnancies and in the OR. Just to be aware, though, I had tears in my eyes the whole time while reading. She does a great job writing so that the reader can almost feel her fears through what was a very scary experience. To clarify, MOST 1st and even 2nd repeat cesareans will be manageable by most hospitals and with what blood they have on hand for possibility of transfusing...I do not want to scare moms facing a repeat cesarean where they NEED to trust and depend on a doctor to keep them safe, but this story also shows how a mother did her homework to do just that - be in the best place with the best team to make sure she'd be going back home to her kiddos. This was simply the situation she ended up in during her 7th pregnancy. Her placenta became deeply implanted into her uterus and cervix after multiple previous surgeries to her uterus.
As a doula, I never want my clients to have any good answer to the question, 'what else could I have done to prevent my first cesarean?' This is especially important when moms desire a larger family. I have had friends and family members tell me that their doctors never once mentioned to them before, during, or after their first cesarean that they'd need to consider limiting family size due to having that surgical birth and the increased dangers of multiple pregnancies and cesarean births following. And not just that, but that they'd not been offered a chance to VBAC and instead told that it is dangerous to try, safer to schedule ANOTHER cesarean, and just accept having 2 children or at most 3 if she really really wants to risk it, but no more! Women are being told this AFTER their second cesareans when their options are nearly nil at that point! It's infuriating. And sad. More women need doula support through their first pregnancies and births, good information, supportive care providers, and to visit their local ICAN group before having their first babies if we want to stop this trend from continuing. Women need the truth! They need their options! They want to make informed choices!
I recently met a nurse who told me there is a doctor on her floor who frequently says all babies should be born by cesarean and has no problem recommending tube tying after the second to all mothers. I seriously hope he is in the extreme minority. But I have a feeling that while we do have docs who truly believe in the safety of and support less medicalized vaginal birth, the number of docs seeing their norm everyday be cesarean deliveries is increasing by the day. This will just continue to have an effect on moms and babies (physically, mentally, emotionally!!!) if we don't advocate for ourselves and surround ourselves with professional support and evidence based information.
And while I'm thinking of it. Hug another woman today. Love her with that hug, if even for just a few seconds. We don't always know each other's journey.