What You’re not Told about your Birth Options

I have been a labor and delivery nurse for four years now and I am inclined to agree that people are not always aware of their birth options. It is not always the doctors fault because they have a standard as well as a code of ethics that they have to follow. Also, several hospitals dictate the policies and procedure the the OBGYN’S must follow as well. Many have zero respect for the health care system so they tend to assume that when they had a bad outcome during delivery that it was the doctors negligence to inform them of their rights. In response to an article where a woman stated that she had a cesarean section at 41+6 weeks because her baby wasn’t ready to be born showed to me that doctors don’t always inform them of the risks of going past 40 weeks. Either that or the woman chose not to listen.

After 40 weeks you babies placenta begins to shutdown so to speak and you baby does not get all the nutrients nor all the oxygen as it did a mere 4 weeks ago. Chances are a cesarean will be done because your baby could not tolerate the labor because of this and not because she was “not ready.” Placentas are not made to work forever and they do have an expiration date. Sometimes they give out early and actually separate from the uterine wall that can often result in fetal death if it is not discovered soon enough. I have experienced that many times in my professions.

Also, your baby gains approximately one pound per week in the last month of your pregnancy so the longer you go the more likely are you are going to have a bigger baby and the more likely it is your body will not allow it to pass through. So if a doctor is suggesting to you to be induced after the forty week mark I would advise to listen carefully to what he or she has to say. They know what they are talking about. I have seen so many bad things happen because a patient did not listen to their doctor yet then they turn around and sue. Having a baby is not a simple process and a simple google search can bring up lots of articles about things that can go wrong. knowing your options is great but listening to your doctor carefully is even better.

Ask yourself this, could you live with yourself if you ignored his suggestion to being induced only to come into labor on your own and discover your baby is dead because the placenta went bad. It can happen before forty weeks as well especially if a woman is high risk. Doctors generally will not induce someone just because they want them delivered. Nine time out of ten there is a medical reason such as macrosomia (big baby can mean big problems for mom and respiratory distress in newborns, blood sugar issues, and other problems). Your baby could be too small because the placenta isn’t functioning correctly which can lead to kidney problems.

Things can go wrong so fast and so many different things can happen that it is almost impossible to know all your options before you deliver. The only true option you have is to get a second opinion if you are not happy with the doctor’s care or if they request a procedure you are not happy with. VBACs are great too but you are at a greater risk for uterine rupture, maternal and fetal death.

The OB docs are there to get the baby out in the safest possible way. I watched a mom refuse a cesarean because her baby wasn’t tolerating labor and now that baby is lying in a grave somewhere. Know your options but be prepared to change your decision if an emergency arises. Many hospitals have birthing rooms to give you the feeling of a home birth simply because they know the risks. The mortality rate for mothers was high years ago for a reason and those reasons still exist today. There are just test and monitoring systems than can identify potential problems later on