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.
recently named in the 2009 edition of Best Lawyer's In America, David Mittleman has been representing seriously injured people since 1985. A partner with Church Wyble PC—a division of Grewal Law PLLC—Mr. Mittleman and his partners focus on medical malpractice, wrongful death, car accidents, slip and falls, nursing home injury, pharmacy/pharmacist negligence and disability claims.