To Have Or Not To Have Caesarean Section
Years ago caesarean section (c-section) was only done in cases of emergency such as when the mother’s life or the neonate’s life is in danger. However at the turn of the century, there seems to have a remarkable rise in c-section deliveries. It seems that women nowadays are willing to take the risk of surgery to avoid the stress and pain of labor rather than experience the normal trend of delivering a baby vaginally – the normal way. The majority of pregnant women believe that the best method of giving birth is the least painful but this is not necessarily the safest (Ghetti, Chan & Guise 2004).
Amazingly some obstetricians have become advocates for this surgical procedure instead of advisors to what is really suitable for the individual. What it is that drives women to go for a mutilating procedure rather than a simple laceration of a normal birth? The answer is obvious. The modern women are scared of pain, of the long stretch of labor and the stress that comes along with it. But what the modern women should understand is that delivering babies by caesarean section is not the answer to a pain-free delivery (Smeltzer & Bare, 2002).
Caesarean Section – Its Beginning
Many people think that c-section is a modern method of delivering babies. The truth is, “… caesarean section has been a part of human culture since the ancient times…”(The National Institute of Health Convention, 1998). In fact history tells about the birth of Julius Caesar by c-section, thus the term “caesarean” came into use. However, modern historians do not believe that Julius Caesar ‘s birth was by c-section since his mother had been mentioned in some part of history to be alive when Caesar was already a reigning emperor. It was a belief in those days that mothers who have a caesarean section were dead as soon as it was done since the attending midwife or physician performed the procedure only if there was an assured impending death to the mother (p.2). There are many more historical incidents that one can find about c-section performed in the ancient days to prove that this surgical procedure is not new.
The Procedure – Before and After Surgery
C-section is a major surgical procedure. Preparations are done before surgery to ensure the safety of the expectant mother. First of all, she has to be NPO (no food or drink) at least eight hours before the surgery. A catheter is inserted into the bladder to drain the urine and an intravenous line usually in the forearm to supply the body with fluids and medication such as antibiotics and pain medicine. The pubic hair will be shaved and the area washed with antibacterial solution. An epidural is inserted in the spinal to numb the abdomen – including the lower parts of the body. The doctor makes an incision vertically below the navel or transversely (the bikini cut) just above the pubic area and goes through the different layers and through the uterine wall until the baby is...