Op-Ed

Ky. Voices: Women must get over fear of vaginal birth

The Health column by Dr. Elizabeth Case regarding C-sections was irresponsible and misleading. C-sections triple a woman's risk of dying during childbirth. The rate for C-sections in Kentucky in 2010 was 33.56 percent, versus the World Health Organization's 15 percent recommendation.

Women are told by their doctors that it is safer to have a C-section if they are pregnant with twins, have a breech baby and especially if they have had a previous C-section.

Other outright lies told to women: their uterus is tilted, their baby is going to be too big and labor is taking too long. These have all been refuted, but women rarely know that until after the fact, if at all.

Let us not forget the routine use of external fetal monitors, which in study after study has shown not to increase positive outcomes for babies but raised the rates of C-sections.

As a culture, we are ignorant of a woman's power to give birth vaginally and free from external constraints and medications. We are fearful of the unknown. This ignorance, fear and blasé attitude about C-sections come at a high price to mothers and babies.

I am 22 weeks pregnant and I think every day about how there are 31 other countries in this world where it is safer for me to give birth than the United States. I look forward to birthing my baby peacefully at home with a skilled midwife.

Laura Clark

Lexington

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