Understanding the Harm Done by Induction & C-Section
To put this into perspective, when an immediate induction or c-section is medically necessary then it is a life-saving procedure. When it is not medically necessary, it places a mother and baby in direct risk of harm.
How much harm? First read this article: "Aetna Urges Moms to Avoid Cesareans Births to Reduce Risk". In addition to all of the other known risks of surgery to both mother and baby (see recent article: "Cesareans More Dangerous Than Previously Thought: 1 in 10 Women Develop Infections"), these c-sections are performed before the pregnancy is actually at full term.
“It’s been a slippery slope where we’ve said ‘Let’s induce at 39 and a half weeks. OK, that worked well, let’s try 38; let’s try 37,’” said Elliott Main, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. “Year after year, it’s gotten pushed back.”
Why is this significant? Read this article and see: "Academic Achievement Varies With Gestational Age Among Children Born at Term".
“Analyses revealed that gestational age within the normal term range was significantly and positively related to reading and math scores in third grade, with achievement scores for children born at 37 and 38 weeks significantly lower than those for children born at 39, 40, or 41 weeks. This effect was independent of birth weight, as well as a number of other obstetric, social, and economic factors.”
To help understand why this may be true, read this article: "Natural Birth Kickstarts Key Brain Protein Production In Mice, C-Section Does Not: Study".
“When they looked closer, the researchers found that vaginal birth somehow triggers UCP2 expression in the neurons of the hippocampus, the brain region involved in both short and long-term memory as well as spatial orientation.”
So my question is; are doctors explaining to mothers that they are not only placing their own health and the health of their baby at risk by agreeing to an unnecessary major surgery, but they also risk lowering their child's intelligence? What mother, given all of the facts, would choose to do this? I cannot think of any, so obviously they are not being given the facts.
Why do I also mention induction? Because induction is also often done in the late pre-term stage when baby's brain may not be ready, and is far more likely to fail and end up with an emergency c-section because the mother's body is also not ready. This makes induction prior to 40 weeks for non-medical reasons a virtual cocktail recipe for disaster.
August 27, 2012 - LCarr