Monday, January 16, 2006

Women's health- real concerns or scare tactics?

An article in today's LA Times outlines the increase in cesarean section births over vaginal births, especially with attention to the risks of vaginal birth. Though a valiant attempt is made to keep the article neutral, the case is certainly made for cesarean section births, especially at the request of the mother, not by means of any medical necessity. As noted in the article, this is due to many reasons, most notably the fear of pain and in order to lessen the chance of a lawsuit from a vaginal birth complication.

The case for voluntary c-section birth is very dangerous to women's health and to the health of the newborn child. While this procedure is necessary and life-saving in many instances, it can have many harmful effects. The article touches on a few of these, most notably the fact that c-sections reduce the positive stress on the child. This positive stress is vital for the respiratory system's proper functioning.

But, what the article doesn't say about bonding is most frightening. A natural chemical reaction happens between the mother and child in order to trigger the onset of labor. The release of oxytocin is one of the key chemical elements to create bonding between a mother and child. The article lowers the idea of bonding to a simple function that can be achieved by framing pictures of pre-natal ultrasounds. (In fact, too many ultrasounds is harmful for the unborn child's development.) This is complete bogus. Bonding is a deep psychological, emotional, spiritual and physical phenomenon. Bonding is further helped by breastfeeding which produces the same oxytocin chemical in the mother. This is nature's way of bonding babies with their mothers.

It is also noteworthy that oxytocin is the same chemical that is released when a women has sex. This chemical reaction bonds her mate with a life-long physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual bond. This is one more reason why individuals should remain chaste and monogamous in marriage.

Alarming statistics show that 30% of births are c-section births. This is up from 5% of births in 1970. One neglected reason given for the increase in c-sections that is not mentioned in the article is abortion. Abortion harms the cervix and makes it less likely to function properly during delivery. The cervix is a muscle that naturally opens and closes during the monthly period as well as during birth. This muscle is almost always damaged during an abortion because the abortion doctor must force the cervix open in order to remove and destroy the child. A damaged cervix results in miscarriage and still-birth and the necessity for a c-sections delivery of subsequent children.

Conclusion? There may be real concerns regarding vaginal births, however forgoing vaginal birth voluntary hardly seems beneficial for women or their babies. On the contrary, women should be taught proper health during pregnancy, lamas breathing, breastfeeding and proper natural pain relief. After all, women have been having children of hundreds of thousands of years. This hardly seems a matter of personal choice.


  1. More excellent work, Mary. Oxytocin is released during labor in response to mother's pain - the pain of labor is necessary and natural. And her oxytocin crosses the placenta and stimulates baby's brain to make the same hormone. It is a remarkable thing, and I'm finding that we don't know enough about it. I blame abortion for taking away our will to understand.

    We seem to have lost our ability to tolerate any suffering, even though it's so much a part of life that we start out that way.

    Thank you for this informative article.

  2. thanks for the additional info on oxytocin. this is great! God bless you!

  3. Mary, here's one of my sources, which is a very interesting article by Andrea Roberts: “The Pain of Labour: A Feminist Issue,” at

    Also, I found a lot of interesting information about birth in, of all places, Naomi Wolf's book, Misconceptions. I didn't understand, for example, that women should give birth from a position that lets gravity help delivery - but it makes sense now that I've heard it. The position used now, with mother flat on her back, is for the convenience of the physician. It makes birth harder and labor longer than it has to be.

    It seems there's a lot of room for improvement in this area. When we stop abusing maternity with abortion and the contraceptive mentality, then perhaps we will take the time to make needed improvements.

    Love this blog, too - please keep up the great work!