The World Health Organization (WHO) and medical studies agree that the best outcomes happen in places where the cesarean rate is 5 – 10%, but in the U.S. nearly 1 in 3 mothers delivers by cesarean. That’s cause for alarm.
It’s important to understand that this crisis is not caused by mothers in any way. Researchers have identified several causes within the culture of medical care. But there’s lots that mothers and fathers can do about it, from lobbying elected officials to holding hospital staff accountable.
Meanwhile, it’s useful for anyone planning a birth to understand that a cesarean birth is a substantial possibility. I wrote in Birth On The Labyrinth Path,
Even when medical circumstances necessitate a cesarean that is either planned or an emergency, there are things that you can do to hold a surgical birth as sacred as any other birth.
I firmly believe this is true. Pagans tend to want unmedicated “natural” births (and with good reason too!), but the work of mothering a new person into being is sacred no matter how it’s done.
I hold these twin truths: We must work to change the culture in which so many mothers and babies are violated and put at risk by unnecesary medical procedures and all births, at home, in the hospital, medicated, unmedicated, vaginal, surgical, ALL BIRTHS are holy events.
Two wee bits of bloggy news before you go:
1. Patheos has changed the commenting system to Disqus. They promise us this will create a better commenting experience. Please let us know how it’s working for you.
2. You can get this blog delivered to your inbox just by entering your email address in the field on the upper right of this page, or enter your email address to get the whole Patheos Pagan newsletter weekly. Please don’t rely on Facebook to tell you when we have a new post up. Their algorithm ensures that unless we pay per post, less than ten percent of our followers see any given FB post.