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No More Birth-on-Demand: Hospitals Banning Elective C-Section Procedures

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There is already a lot of controversy surrounding women’s bodies and the choices they make regarding their reproduction. Now doctors are adding to that controversy by banning elective inductions and C-section procedures.

Most moms would probably agree that the last month of pregnancy is no vacation. With a tap dancing bundle of joy in the womb, it makes it hard to sleep, plus there are the numerous trips to the bathroom and the swelling, amongst other things. These uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy are the reasons that some moms have decided to undergo elective inductions and C-sections. But doctors are starting to push back against what they call they birth-on-demand syndrome. For example, Dr. Elaine St. John, an associate professor of pediatrics at the Division of Neonatology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham says that some women undergo the elective procedures merely because they want their baby’s birthday to fall on some special anniversary or because relatives are coming to town on a certain day. These are problematic reasons, she says, since most moms would ultimately agree that they simply want the best for their child—and that means giving them the best opportunities starting in the womb.

The top hospitals in several states have banned elective C-sections or inductions before 39 weeks, including hospitals in New York, Arizona, Oregon, New York, California, Texas, and Illinois. These hospitals will still schedule inductions and C-sections that they deem medically necessary, but are against elective inductions and C-sections because of new evidence that suggests that babies born before 39 weeks are at a higher risk for several medical problems. Nevertheless, many moms bristle over the idea of having a doctor tell them they have to wait until 39 weeks to give birth. Take Lisa Coulouris who says:

You’re already out of control of your body, so at least to know if you go to your doctor’s office and say, ‘Look, we’re at 37 weeks, and I feel like I’m ready’. To know that I would have that choice would just make me feel better. But to take it away from me just adds to the pressure of being pregnant.

Coulouris had twins via emergency C-section earlier this year.

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  1. P.G says:
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    I am 38wks and in excruciating pain. I can’t walk far bc my back hurts so bad after an hr I can’t lift my legs or move in bed at night. My feet throb and my hips hurt on left and right sides at night bc of the weight. The baby is measuring slightly big and I have a history of big babies w my two sons weighting 9lbs and 8lbs 10oz. I don’t agree w date picking based on a holiday or just bc but come on this is beyond that. I feel im being forced to suffer when it should be MY choice. Its one thing to be perfectly fine its another to have to be confined to your house bc daily activities are simply just not able to be done. I know at this point im ready and so is the baby. I should be allowed the option to tell my Dr I want an induction bc at this point living evday in pain and crying is not a way of living. It’s very unfair to have a healthy choice after 37wks stripped from you wo your vote or say. It’s just wrong. No woman should be forced to SUFFER bc a Dr THINKS they know. Not ALL women are the same. Neither are their pregnancies.