C-section vs. letting Mom go naturally

Specialties Ob/Gyn


Why am I hearing more and more of Dr.'s that ASK their patient's if they want to have a c-section instead of waiting and letting nature take it's course and baby comes naturally? I just don't get it!

I have a friend that is pregnant for the first time, isn't due for a few more weeks, has a very healthy pregnancy, no problems with her or the baby except that at last U/S, they guesstimated the baby is almost 9 lbs and has still not descended any and her cervix is still closed and thick. He offered her a c-section in a few days and she took the offer! Ugh! Ok, I may be old-school here in my thinking but I just don't see why any Dr. would offer that (besides they see it as easy money in their pocket) or why any woman would want that!! C-sections are major surgery to the body, as we all know. They are relatively easy in uncomplicated pregnancies but there is still more room for post-op infections, bleeding problems, etc...why can't Dr.'s just leave well-enough alone and let nature take it's course and let the woman's body do what it was made to do and has been doing for centuries...the baby will come out when it's good and ready, her body will tell her it's time to deliver that baby. She's not even at her due date yet, and it's her first baby, of course the baby hasn't descended yet and there's no dilation! Duh! Give it a few weeks, tell her to go walking, have sex, etc...geez!

I can totally understand if there were underlying circumstances here that would make a c-section the better option, but for my friend, there isn't any. It's not even a case where the Dr. doesn't think the baby will pass through the birth canal, he just gave her a choice, and being first-time pregnant and tired of being pregnant, she took the c-section. Baffles me!:uhoh3: I'm an advocate for natural birth, as natural as medically possible of course and I'm all for women making decisions and all but to me, this is just ridiculous that a Dr. would suggest this to a first-time mom who will never even know if her body can deliver a baby naturally, and more than likely, she never will be able to experience that (even though I realize there are VBACs though it seems more and more Dr.'s are going away from those as well).

What do you all see in your L&D's? Is this practice normal when there are NO medical reasons for a c-section? :confused:

I saw a documentary on this recently. They were calling them "designer births." I guess a lot has to do with Hollywood hype. You know, faster recovery of body parts, some body parts never needing recovery, etc. As soon as some of them find out they are pregnant they are planning the C-section date. Kinda sad if you ask me.

Specializes in Professional Development Specialist.

This is the reason I chose to run far, far away from OB nursing. I couldn't function in a field which in my city is so far from evidence based practice.

This is the reason I chose to run far, far away from OB nursing. I couldn't function in a field which in my city is so far from evidence based practice.

I'm torn...I would love to work in L&D (babies are my first love, as in NICU, but advocating women/baby births/health is a close second!)...however, like you, I think I need to stay away from it as I think I would become so frustrated that I wouldn't be able to work on the unit. I'm also an advocate of natural childbirth and don't care for how the word epidural is out of the mouth of the doc before labor even begins, buts that's a whole other subject...lol

@ handyrn, i would love to watch that documentary you were talking about in which they discussed c/s.

L&D is def different than postpartum: love my babies and mama's and don't think u should run away from working with them b/c of a decision they decide to make with their doctor. I def am a newbie but am all about the holistic natural child birth as well..

We are definitely seeing an increase in c-sections AND tummy tucks...docs seem to be offering c-sections with no medical reasoning. Our favorite saying for the moms that choose c-sections for no medical reason and proceed to request a tummy tuck...'too posh to push'.

But seriously...my friends always ask me what I would choose if I had a choice. Unless there was a medical reason for myself or my baby to have a c-section I would choose natural. Why put your body through major surgery if you don't have to? Wouldn't you rather spend the time you'd spend healing with your baby? I see way too many moms returning with post-op wound infections...then the doc ends up opening them up and have to pack the wound until it heals?! Wow...add on another 6 weeks to your healing time, not to mention a once or twice a day visit from a nurse to do the dressing change for you!

Of course, I am still an advocate for patients having a choice...but I feel some of them are misinformed or do not take complications of surgery seriously.

Specializes in Geriatrics, Home Health.

Maybe the OB encouraging a C-section is trying to avoid a lawsuit. A Connecticut family was recently awarded $58 million in their suit against an OB for their child's cerebral palsy. The parents claimed that the OB waited too long to do a C-section. It was actually discussed on this site.

I would agree that avoiding a lawsuit is probably a priority to the physician, especially with lawsuits such as the Connecticut family weighing heavily on their minds. On the other hand, surgery comes with its own risks and could potentially cause other lawsuit-worthy problems (punctured uterus- pt. coded twice and nearly died, punctured bladder- to name a couple of things that happened my past week at work).

It boils down to the discretion of the physician...some can make a good call, and some cannot. The unfortunate reality is that the patient and their family are on the receiving end of a bad call...whether it is a physician, nurse, etc. who made that call.

Specializes in Anesthesia.


Here is good article on the benefits and risks of elective c-sections.

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.
#25 Why are c-sections on the rise? It is because a lady partsl delivery costs approximately $5,992, while a c-section costs approximately $8,558.


Specializes in Anesthesia.

Yes, but a obstetrician can oversee a lot more lady partsl deliveries versus 1 c-section at time. It is pretty simple for an obstetrician to deliver 1 or more lady partsl deliveries an hour, but it is difficult at most hospitals for an obstetrician to do more than one routine c-section every couple of hours. Besides the fact that most insurance companies aren't going to pay for elective c-sections.

The decreased litigation (perceived or real) and the convience of scheduled c- sections IMO is why most obstetricians have increased the amount of elective c-sections.

Specializes in OB-Gyn/Primary Care/Ambulatory Leadership.
not to mention a once or twice a day visit from a nurse to do the dressing change for you!

Generally the dressing is removed after about 24 hours. There is typically no dressing change unless there is a complication like a dehiscence.

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