Monday, August 13, 2012

Brazilian women rebel against c-section births

Some, but not all.

The Associated Press article published this weekend, Rebelling against Brazil’s record C-section rate, women rediscover virtues of natural birth, makes for very interesting reading.

I'd like to draw attention to the reported information about how obstetetricians are paid - i.e. THE SAME for a cesarean as for a natural birth (and in fact the article provides an example of doctors being paid R$10 more for a natural birth).

Why is this important?

Because in other countries, high cesarean rates are blamed on the fact that obstetricians are paid MORE for surgery, which provides an unethical financial incentive to encourage more cesareans.

In Brazil, the accusation is different: AP reports that it's more an issue of time management, with a cesarean "taking 30-40 minutes" compared with "a natural birth that can last an entire day".

And in order to support women to have a better natural birth experience and to help reduce the country's cesarean rate, Brazil is said to be investing more than R$4.5 billion.

So while I support those women who are trying to gain access to quality care during a trial of labor, I think that this example demonstrates that natural birth in the 21st century - where women want to have it all (a natural experience but with a guaranteed safe outcome) - doesn't come cheap.

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