And I thought our cesarean rates were high….
In Brazil Cesarean rates soar well above 50 percent. However, a mom with private health insurance has a little over 80 percent chance of being sectioned.
It seems as if the moms are no longer accepting what has seems to have become the norm. In response to a ruling by a medical agency in Rio de Janeiro which forbade doctors from attending home births and doulas from assisting laboring moms, these moms bravely took to the street.
In response, women organized marches in 13 cities. In Sao Paulo, they bared their breasts and carried posters reading "Our Children, Our Decision" while chanting "Brazil, don't follow Rio's example." They enacted natural births using dolls covered with Portuguese words reading "Born Free."
After the resolution was reversed by court order July 30, about 200 people gathered in Rio to celebrate, with yet more banners and painted bellies defending women's freedom to choose how their babies are born. Similar marches took place in 28 other Brazilian cities, where women also defended their right to reject episiotomies — cutting the vaginal opening to prevent tearing — and to have company during the birth. A 2005 law says women should have a companion of their choice during labor, but it's frequently not respected. Read More -
I don’t think our society would take too kindly to publically bared breasts and birth re-enactments, but it certainly makes a bold statement!
The article explains that there are many elements that contribute to the extremely high Cesarean rates, but one that may have made the surgeries attractive was the interventions that may have contributed to stressful and painful labors.
The reasons behind Brazil's high rates are many. Experts say a longstanding interventionist approach to vaginal births made them more painful and stressful than necessary. All this gave C-sections a reputation as being a more predictable, safe, painless and modern way to deliver.
It’s so important to reiterate the point…C-sections are major surgeries and should not be taken lightly.
Research possible complications if you’re planning to have a cesarean, more times than not, your doctor will not lay it all out on the table. Cesareans also affect breastfeeding success. Take this in consideration as well. Read my post, Set Up To Fail At The Breast.
WHO has been consistent in warning against unnecessary cesarean rates.
The World Health Organization warns against unnecessary surgeries, saying that while there is no ideal C-section rate, the percentage should hover between 10 and 15 percent. In China, which also has a very high cesarean rate, 46 percent of babies were delivered via the surgery in 2008, the latest year for which data is available. In the US, more than a third of births are by C-section.
Because a C-section entails major abdominal surgery, risks for the mother include infections, complications from anesthesia, hemorrhage and dangerous clots, and a longer recovery. For the baby, the procedure is linked to increases in premature births, breathing problems, and generally lower health scores related to depriving babies of the stimulation they normally experience as they travel through the birth canal.
Hopefully for moms in Brazil, this is the beginning to gaining back some of the control that has been lost.