Thirty years ago, 1 in 20 babies was born by a Caesarian section. Today almost one in four are. In spite of the increase in this type of childbirth, there are very few books on the subject, and most childbirth classes barely touch upon it. For some women, a C-section is the only safe way to give birth. But in recent years, it has become a way to have a baby on a timetable, and elective C-sections are becoming more and more common. Unfortunately, the risks can outweigh the benefits, and the subject of elective Caesarians is becoming more and more contentious among obstetricians, politicians and feminists.
While the percentage of elective C-sections is still small; 1.86 of all total deliveries in 2001, there is much debate about the ethics involved in allowing women to choose what is sometimes a risky surgery. Some bioethicists argue that a woman who would choose a procedure that is more dangerous to both her health and the health of her baby in the interest of control needs to reassess her priorities. Others insist that there is no evidence that a caesarian birth is more risky that a vaginal one. Some believe there is evidence that the risk to baby and mother is greater in a vaginal birth, consequently some OB/Gyn’s argue that mothers should be allowed to make an informed decision about the birth of their babies.
Regardless of the motivation for this type of birth, C-Sections are here to stay. For most women who have them, they are the safest way for them to give birth to their babies. And the reality is, information about Caesarian is difficult to come by. For all the commonality of the surgery, reference materials that are truly helpful to women faced with it are few and far between. In her latest book, “What If I Have a C-Section” author and USA Today medical reporter Rita Ruben lays out the various scenarios women may face when giving birth to their children, and how to cope with C-Section as an option.
Rubin’s empathetic and informative approach provides a compilation of real-life stories, medical data and doctor input to provide an invaluable resource for both first-time mothers and those who have already undergone a C-section in the past. “What If I Have a C-Section” illustrates how to cope with the unexpected, when to make the decision to have surgery, recovery, breastfeeding and VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian). In simple, easy to understand language, Rubin touches on all the most worrisome aspects of caesarian birth in an honest and reassuring tone sure to be of comfort to pregnant women who want to be informed of their options. Touted by specialists as “excellent,” “clinically accurate,” and “highly informative,” this book is an excellent resource for pregnant women, and the people who love them.
Author Rita Rubin is a prizewinning health journalist at USA Today. Rubin has a great deal of experience writing for both medical and lay publications. She lives in Bethesda, Maryland with her husband and two daughters.
“What If I Have a C-Section” is available in bookstores nationwide.