Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First Reader: The Future Complications of C-sections

This week's readings and the documentary that we're watching this week revolve around becoming aware of some of the issues surrounding reproduction. After I watched the first half of the film in class today, I was able to make a correlation that ultimately gave me a sense of enlightenment about an issue I never put much thought into. My mother was born and raised in Gaza and she has five kids in total. I'm the oldest of my siblings and we were all born in Gaza except for my six year old sister. Out of the five, only one was born in the United States. Out of the five, only one had a Cesarian section. I'm sure you're already seeing the connection here. In The Business of Being Born, it was stated that 5% of women in the U.S. had the Cesarian section surgery in 1965. A few decades later and that rate increased to about 1 in 4 women that had C-sections. So not only has the number of women giving birth by Cesarian section increased by 46% since 1996, but the rate is only going to keep on increasing. After a discussion with my mom, who worked as a medical technologist in Gaza, about the Gazan hospital environment for women during birth, I realized that there really is a major difference between giving birth in a Gazan hospital and giving birth in a hospital in Chicago. Dr. Clancy points out in Late Pregnancy, Labor Induction, and the Occupy Uterus Movement that "being "overdue" is a medical construct more than a biological reality" and that it leads to the empowerment of "health professionals to intervene rather than just monitor pregnancy". Dr. Clancy also points out that the baby will come out when it's ready no matter how many people are in a rush for the baby to be born. But the problem arises when doctors feel the need to come between this process and make the assumption that implementing C-section is the answer. My mother described giving birth in a Chicago hospital like a military operation carrying out a strict set of commands. This is a huge difference than some of the women we saw in the film who had an almost silent, yet peaceful birth process. Not only has this week's readings (and the film so far, as well) opened my eyes on many reproduction-related issues, but it also made me genuinely scared about the current crisis of Cesarian sections and what risks the increase of Cesarian sections will be linked to in future births. 

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