11 Disturbing Things I've Learned About the 'Freebirth' Movement
2. Fear of Unnecessary C-Section
This is a very valid fear, grounded in exploding C-section rates across the country. In 1970, the C-section rate nationally was 5.5 percent; according to the latest data available, the rate is now 32.8 percent. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends an upper limit on C-sections at 10-15 percent. Despite the relative safety of VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section), many hospitals and providers refuse to provide their patients with the option. Women who have had a prior C-section in the state of California, for example, have a 5 percent chance of having a vaginal birth after C-section. If a woman has had a prior C-section, or lives in a state or near a hospital with an exceedingly high C-section rate, she may become open to the prospect of a home birth to avoid a major unnecessary abdominal surgery, which comes with its own risks of complications and dangers. If there is no midwife available or affordable nearby, women may turn to unassisted birth to ensure their avoidance of a C-section.