The Growing Movement of Cesarean Section

by Savannah Hernandez and Tabatha Jones

Choosing c-section over vaginal childbirth is a trend started by celebrities and a growing debate.

Should a woman be able to choose how and when she wants to give birth? The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported a jump to nearly 1 in 3 women having babies delivered by Cesarean in 2005.

The controversy with celebrities isn’t necessarily choosing c-section or vaginal birth. It is choosing an early c-section. It is said that many celebrities have opted in to give birth up to 4 weeks early to avoid abdominal stretching. Accused stars include Victoria Bechham, Elizabeth Hurley and Madonna, all of which deny the accusations. Tabloids have nicknamed the movement "Too Posh to Push," after former Spice Girl Beckham.

Under no circumstances should a woman give birth prior to 38 weeks without a medical reason. You put your child at risk and unnecessarily. When you make the decision to have a child you should understand the sacrifice. If you are not willing, then don’t have children. After 38 weeks, women are usually all clear for delivery of their baby whether the elect c-section or vaginal.

This is called a debate because there are two sides to the story.

Cesarean Delivery

In spite of the controversy, many doctors say C-sections, often perceived as a last-resort, may be preferable to vaginal delivery.

"If you want to look at what is the absolute safest way to give birth, C-section without labor on an elective schedule basis avoids all possible issues," said Scott Serden, clinical chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, where many celebrities, including Madonna, have given birth.

"More women are choosing not to go through the labor process, to avoid issues with vaginal delivery and the possible long process of labor induction," he said.

Vaginal birth has its own problems, including a possible but unproven higher risk of incontinence from vaginal tears or use of forceps. They say fully informed women should be able to choose.

Cesareans can be life- or health-saving for many mothers and babies. Fetal distress, breech babies, twins or more, or diseases that make labor risky for the mother can all be important reasons to have one.

Vaginal Delivery

C-sections are not without risks. Although safer today than ever before, it still carries risk to the mother including infection, increased blood loss, respiratory complications and a longer hospital stay and recovery time. Risks to the baby include premature birth, breathing problems and fetal injury. C-section also brings risk to any future pregnancies.

Doctor Christilaw says in most cases, an elective C-section is irresponsible. "We do have a responsibility to our patients to try to give the care that presents them with the lowest possible risk. In most cases, that will be vaginal delivery."

For women concerned with sexy stomachs, old-fashioned pushing avoids scarring.

So what should women consider?

  • You and your baby's health come first.
  • Labor pain can be controlled.
  • Think seriously about future children. One C-section may mean all your births will be C-sections.
  • Choose a doctor wisely. He will know what is best for you.

Savannah Hernandez and Tabatha Jones, owners of Mommy Appelseed Maternity Clothing, grew up together and have remained close friends ever since. They came up with the idea of starting an online maternity clothes boutique while discussing their decisions to expand our families. Remembering the dull maternity fashions during their first pregnancies compelled them to open an maternity clothes boutique that offered comfortable, sexy maternity clothes without sacrificing style.

Copyright © Savannah Hernandez and Tabatha Jones. Permission to republish granted to Pregnancy.org, LLC.