Thursday, January 8, 2009

Early c-sections increase risk

This new study shows, I think, more of what happens when we decide that something about birth just can't be that important. Since babies can be considered "term" any time after 36 weeks, why not take them whenever you feel like? Ignoring the idea that maybe we don't know everything going on in the last weeks of pregnancy, and if the body doesn't go into labor spontaneously there might be a good reason.

If you've seen "The Business of Being Born", they point out that most interventions in obstetrics are adopted first and then studied after the fact - when damage is already done. What really caught my eye was the doctor who said of scheduling an early c-section, "I really hadn't thought much about it until now." Some standard practices in use today - like continuous fetal monitoring - were introduced, later studied and proven not to be helpful, and then were too entrenched to root out.

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