Fearful moms choosing c-sections more often?

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operating roomAsking a woman if she would rather give birth vaginally or by c-section is a little like asking her if she would prefer having her fingernails pulled out or a fork stuck in her eye.

Newsflash -- it hurts either way.

However, women in the United Kingdom are requesting c-sections more and more often, and one of Britian's leading midwives (do we have a leading midwife?) claims that women under 40 are "less prepared" for the pains of so-called "natural" childbirth.

Louise Silverton, deputy general-secretary of the Royal College of Midwives, said that the number of women opting for c-sections is "unacceptably high and needlessly high," and that surgery puts both mother and child at risk. The National Health Service allows any woman to request the procedure, but guidelines require a good clinical or psychological reason.

The statistics would seem to bear her out -- one out of every four women in England delivers via c-section -- but I have a hard time believing that the majority of these surgeries are optional. My own two children were both delivered by c-section, and I certainly didn't request it.

My daughter was breech -- blocked by a fibroid tumor, she was unable to turn. The doctor gave me the option of attempting to turn her, but there was an infinitesimal chance of fetal death. After agonizing over the decision, I opted to have the surgery instead. After all, that put the majority of the risk on me instead of her.

It was my first decision as her parent, and it was the right one. My son was also born surgically, since those pesky fibroid just won't got away.

Let me tell you, morphine drip or no, major abdominal surgery ain't exactly a walk in the park. In this case, the old saying "pay me now or pay me later" holds true. There just isn't a painless way to give birth, and you carry your battle scars no matter what the method.

So tell me, what would you do? Are you afraid of vaginal birth? Would that motivate you to go under the knife instead?

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.