This frustrating statistic is one that most of us are familiar with, so I’m not posting to tell you something I think you don’t already know. And most of us also know the common reasons behind this fact and their varying degrees of legitimacy. Those of us playing supporting roles in the world of birth work tirelessly to educate and advocate in order to hopefully bring this percentage down. But at the end of the day, we are living in a time where cesarean birth remains an all-to-present reality for many mothers and babies. I was listening to Whapio lecture and she made this statement, not judgmentally or critically, but matter-of-factly. Honestly. Our bodies haven’t changed. Our birth practices have.
We as humans are living in much the same bodies as those our ancestors possessed. At our core, when removed from a clinical environment of intervention and medical management, we maintain the innate ability to birth the same way that they did. Not always, but often, cesarean birth is not a failure of physiology, but a failure of patience, a failure of trust. A failure rooted in paternalism and undergirded by fear that birth presents an inherent risk to everyone. But at the center of it all is a mother and her baby in desperate need of support.
This is one of the truths in birth that has caused me to examine and distill my own philosophy of care. Whether I or you or anyone likes it or not, cesarean birth isn’t going anywhere. Women will continue to birth this way to some degree either by choice or circumstance. Because of this, I offer cesarean-specific support options, with education, birth planning, and care specifically tailored for families in this situation. Some doulas choose not to support cesarean birth or even hospital birth, and that’s okay. Some doulas only support cesarean births and that’s okay, too. I choose to focus on it as an opportunity for me to provide, to the very best of my ability, a unique and meaningful birth experience to clients who still want and need support