(This post is part one of our three-part series “Three Things to Lower Your C-Section Risk.”)
We all agree that the cesarean rate is too high–way higher than the World Health Organization’s recommended maximum of 10-15%. Cesarean rates in America have topped 35% of all births since 2008, and the C-section rates in Dothan and Enterprise hospitals are even worse. In our area, more than one out of every three birthing women (and sometimes as high as one out of every two birthing women) will give birth by an abdominal surgery. That is a scary number! In this blog series, we will discuss three things any mother can do to lower her risk of a C-section birth and improve the odds of successfully achieving a vaginal birth.
Most importantly, you have to own it.
Your birth outcome can be dramatically changed just by realizing your ownership of your birth and your birth experience. This birth is yours! You are responsible for yourself and your unborn child, and the ownership of the experience belongs to you and to no one else.
Part of owning the experience is choosing an informative and respectful health care provider. To lower your risk of a C-section birth, you may want to go through pregnancy and birth differently than most other patients in America; this means you may encounter possible disagreements between your health care providers and the new information and ideas you have found. Are you sure that your care provider will respect your wishes even if you possibly disagree with his advice? How sure are you?—because you are literally betting your birth experience on it.
All your adult life, you have been and you will be the ultimate decision-maker throughout your health care. A medical professional gives his recommendations and states his concerns, diagnoses, and findings; but you are the “top dog” who gets to “call the shots” on everything about your care. It is you, the Empowered Mother, who asks for information and can be confident in your informed decisions; or it is you, the Trusting Mother, who gives up that right to someone else to research and make a decision that you hope is best for you. Neither of these is right or wrong, and neither is better or worse than the other; they’re just different and have different benefits and trade-offs of each. However, it is always your right to have the final say on consent or refuse because it is your body and your baby. Owning your birth experience will not only improve your birth outcomes, but it will also help you prepare for your role during the next 18 years of the Parent, the one who protects and stands up for your child.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our three-part series “Three Things to Lower Your C-Section Risk”!