What is this site about?
The Unnecesarean is a patient advocacy Web site that pulls back the curtain on the practice of prophylactic cesarean surgery for suspected fetal macrosomia and illuminates the experiences of women who have been harmed by the aggressive practice of defensive medicine. The site provides information about preventing an unnecessary cesarean and resources for making fully-informed decisions about childbirth while offering an irreverent take on the maternity care crisis in the United States and beyond.
The most recently released data from the CDC on childbirth showed that 32.9 percent of U.S. babies in 2008 were born by surgery. This is the twelfth year in a row that the rate has risen. Rates of severe maternal morbidity have increased, yet maternal and infant mortality have not seen a decline with the aggressive use of this life saving surgery.
Jill Arnold started site in August 2008 as a collection of big baby birth stories, as well as women’s accounts of their unnecesareans and VBACs (vaginal births after cesarean). After refusing a planned cesarean for suspected macrosomia based on a 38 week ultrasound estimate of fetal weight, she gave birth vaginally to a healthy baby and later found that the midwives model of care better met her needs as a pregnant woman. She likes weird historical crap, The Daily Show and flip-flops.
Emjaybee has written and published several textbooks and edited many more, though she currently holds a day job with a giant corporation doing boring but bill-paying tasks. She had a traumatic unnecesarean in 2005 and has been obnoxiously loud and angry about abusive birth practices ever since. She is fiercely committed to women’s rights, combating prejudice with science, and making the lithotomy position become the exception, not the norm.
Courtroom Mama is feminist mother and attorney. She’s a birth/women’s health geek, a reproductive justice advocate, and an uppity woman of color.
Contact Courtroom Mama
Patrice is the mother of three boys, an advocate of physiological birth, a childbirth educator and a birth doula certified with Childbirth International. She got an itch to become a birth advocate while pregnant with her second son, but did not fully realize it until pregnant with her third child. Her goal is to help educate women on their choices in childbirth so that they make truly informed evidence-based decisions. As a birth doula, she supports women during pregnancy, labor, and birth— physically, emotionally, and socially.
ANaturalAdvocate is a recent law school graduate with an interest in informed consent and reproductive rights. She is the mother of three kids and wife to an active-duty service-member.
Henry Dorn, MD
Henry Dorn is an OB-GYN currently practicing in High Point, North Carolina. www.drdorn.com
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Replies to frequent comments and a few made-up questions
But a c-section saved my life!
But a c-section saved my baby’s life!
Beautiful. That’s what the surgery is for.
I had a c-section and I loved it.
Cool. Being happy is great.
All of you natural childbirth, pro-home birth, anti-medical people are—-
Hold on there, cowboy. It’s not black and white. Within the birth advocacy community, there are w i d e l y differing opinions on issues. It might simplify one’s life to nurture a polemic view on birth and reduce any discourse to pro-medical versus pro-home birth, but that’s not an accurate picture of what’s really going on.
What about elective c-sections with no medical indication?
“Elective cesarean” is a frequently misused or misunderstood term. Any c-section performed before labor begins can be labeled “elective.” If a woman is scared into getting a c-section because she is “measuring large,” it will be recorded as “elective.” Debates about maternal request cesareans tend to attract a lot of media attention and emotional reactions about what women should or shouldn’t do.
I have trouble coming up with a good reason, epidemiological arguments aside, why a woman who has no intention of ever giving birth vaginally shouldn’t be able to seek out specialized care for an elective surgery. There are so many reasons why people choose elective procedures for no medical reason. If I had a fear of uterine cancer that was negatively affecting my life, maybe I would want a hysterectomy. I would save up money for the surgery, try to find someone that would be willing to perform the surgery and schedule it. The increased risk of morbidity and death from the surgery wouldn’t matter because my quality of life would change so dramatically. My choice wouldn’t be anyone else’s business.
This would be a completely different experience than being told a hysterectomy was necessary when it wasn’t. It’s obviously problematic and negligent when medical authorities promote c-sections as the healthy wave of the future. Also troublesome is that the so-called trend of maternal request c-sections are blamed for the dramatic rise in the overall c-section rate.
I saw a weird/obnoxious comment by “unnecesarean” elsewhere.
It might have been me (Jill). It might not. I have used variations of Jill and Unnecesarean when submitting comments over the years, mostly because contributor Jill P. also comments on different birth related blogs. If you want clarification of something, have a bone to pick or want to send me 10,000,000 (Ten Million) American Dollars from a Nigerian bank, contact me.
Courtroom Mama and ANaturalAdvocate, can you please give me legal advice?
Can I advertise on this blog?
Yes! Contact Jill Arnold.
Is there a Facebook page for the site?
Why, yes! Thanks for asking.