I promised myself that I would write *something* in honor of Cesarean Awareness Month, since I am not doing much of anything else for it. In a discussion just the other day with a dear friend, this topic came up. The Blame Game.
Women really and truly believe that they or their baby were the cause of the disappointing or scary outcome of their birth. When an induction ends in a cesarean, a woman is told one of three things, all placing blame on herself or her baby:
1) "Your pelvis was just too small."
2) "Your cervix failed to finish dilating."
3) "Your baby was too big."
What should these three really say?
1) "The epidural you had and us having you push on your back made it impossible for your body to birth your baby on your own."
2) "Your body wasn't ready yet, and it was PROTECTING the baby."
3) "The epidural you had and us having you push on your back made it impossible for your body to birth your baby on your own."
The blame ( okay, most of it...women still need to take responsibility for poor choices, such as choosing an induction or epidural ... research women! ) needs to stop being focused on mom's body being "broken", or baby growing to be far too gigantic for mom to birth. Let's face it. Inductions fail for a reason. And it's still an induction if you were contracting regularly, but not dilated much, so they hooked you up to pitocin! Inductions fail because the body isn't ready, and it's doing just what it's supposed to do - PROTECT that baby inside. Your body hasn't failed you, it's done its job perfectly! Unless you have rickets, or had a terrible pelvic injury prior to labor and birth, your pelvis is not going to be "too small" to deliver the size baby you grew. Period.
And baby growing too big? Not going to happen unless you have uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, or there is a congenital abnormality. We're talking a very small % of babies are born with this ... yet how many women can you think of who were either talked into an induction or cesarean on the basis of their baby being too big? I was one of those women. And my GIGANTIC 8 1/2 lb baby boy suffered for it.
It makes me so sad when I hear women say that they ended up with a cesarean because their body didn't work right, wasn't the right size, or their baby wasn't the right size. We need to put the blame where it belongs 99% of the time - with intervention. A healthy pregnancy that is allowed to progress naturally, with no interference, will have wonderful outcomes the vast majority of the time. That's just fact. The more you screw with it, the more you're screwed.
Care providers need to stop covering their asses by playing the blame game with women. Or even more concerning, they need to learn that these things aren't true. Because if they really believe that it has nothing to do with inductions, AROM, epidurals or drugs .... that's even scarier than them passing blame.