Christine Aguilera is a talented, beautiful young woman who is all over the magazines and internet with her beautiful new baby. It is a lovely sight to see and I am sure she influences young women around the world on the wonders of new motherhood. But my eyes and ears perked up when I read that she had a planned, elective (read "Doctor, I want that!") C-section at 37 weeks because "I'd heard horror stories about tearing. I really wanted a calm and peaceful environment. I didn't want any surprises."
Now I don't blame a 27 year old narcissistic diva for how she feels. I also understand the fears new prospective mothers have about their changing bodies, new responsibilities and major life changes a child brings. But where are the doctors in all of this? Is this the new trend? C-Sections, rather than nature's natural childbirth for anyone who asks?
Cesarean Section childbirth is major surgery. The abdominal wall and muscles are cut as well as the uterus.
There is a higher risk of blot clots following a C-section than a vaginal birth. Hysterectomy is more common after cesarean. The risk of maternal death is higher.
The risk of uterine infection is much higher after a C-section than it is after a vaginal birth. There is usually a longer hospital stay for the mother, and she is at a higher risk of being re-admitted to the hospital later for complications.
The severity and length of pain after a Cesarean is much greater than after a vaginal birth. You may feel more pain during a vaginal birth than you would during a Cesarean. But shortly after birth most of that pain will be gone (unless you receive intervention such as episiotomy). Pain from Cesarean surgery continues on into the early weeks and for some women, months.
C-Sections that are done in life threatening situations are necessary and preferable to any risk to the mother or baby. Elective, planned C-Sections because the mom is "afraid" or "vain" or just misinformed is really an indictment of the medical community.
I suspect we will have many young women wanting to follow in Mama Aguilera's footsteps. It will be interesting to follow the C-Section rates over the next few years.