Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Too Posh To Push

In Chinese medicine there is a predetermined path that qi, otherwise known as vital energy, takes through the system. All areas of the body correspond or are ruled by the organs and childbirth has its own predetermined path. Having a baby has been done successfully by women for many years, before doctors. Yes it has problems, but for centuries the population has been steadily growing.
When 'natural' seems too risky - Los Angeles Times: "
Even newer studies are beginning to compare the risks of vaginal delivery not with emergency C-sections, as most previous research has done, but with planned surgical deliveries. C-sections are safer, some researchers are finding, without the last-minute rush to surgery after an exhausting trial of labor. But critics of elective C-sections see a downside. Such research is early and conflicting, they say, and science doesn't yet understand the time-honored trip down the birth canal. Babies delivered by cesarean section have more respiratory infections later in life, and may have more gastrointestinal tract problems as well. And errors in predicting the due date could result in a baby born earlier than the full-term range of 38 to 41 weeks."
The liver controls the sexual organs which include the birth canal. It is the end of the energy cylcle and flows into the beginning which is the lung, followed by the large intestine and the stomach. Having a cesarean section requires an incision across the abdomen which disconnects the two halves of the body. It severs the kidney, liver, stomach, spleen and the ren pathways which can engender a host of future problems and makes recovery long and painful. And that is just the damage to the mother. The damage to the child is that the natural cycle of life has been disturbed. Instead of entering the world from the exit path of the cycle and drawing the first breath in the naturally predetermined rhythm, it is lifted rudely from its home with no warning and forced to contend with the world all at once. Maybe that struggle to escape the birth canal helps the body adjust to new cirucumstances. I wonder what the emotional impact might be?

For now, the stereotypical profile of the woman who opts for the knife is a professional woman, accustomed to having control over her life and wanting control over the timing, the pain level and the recovery from childbirth. These women have even spawned a label seen in medical literature and the lay press: too posh to push.

The label may not be far off the mark, Bernstein says. "I think it's the suited executive woman who wants to know when her baby is coming out of her," he says.

But as C-section rates rise, so too might complications such as hemorrhaging or failure of the placenta to implant in the uterus in subsequent pregnancies.

And no one fully understands the physiological fallout of normal childbirth for the baby. It's likely, for example, that the squeeze on the lungs helps expel fluids, decreasing future risks of respiratory problems. And maybe bacteria encountered along the route fortify the child's immune system.

"Studies from Scandinavia and Europe suggest that kids [delivered by cesarean] don't get to colonize their GI tract appropriately. There's bacteria in the birth canal that they're not exposed to," says Kimberly Gregory, vice chairwoman of women's healthcare quality at Cedars Sinai Hospital. And that might make them more susceptible to gut infections later.
Heaven forbid that something in a childs life might be under their control, such as when they make their first appearance. For a country that doesn't have the lowest infant mortality rate (not even in the top ten!) or the longest life expectancy we sure do like to mess with the natural order of things. Hail Caesar!

No comments:

Post a Comment