As reported in the Danish newspaper “Politiken” March 1, 2009. An increasing number of pregnant Danish women are requesting to birth by elective Cesarean Section because they are afraid to birth naturally. This is a strange development in a country where women traditionally are encouraged to birth accompanied by a midwife and birth is considered to be a healthy event.
The rise in requests for elective C-Sections has prompted a group of specially trained midwives to help the women resolve their fear with the result that the requests have dropped 50 percent. Midwife Benthe Dandanell is very pleased with this development because as she states: C-Sections are not without risks for mother and child. One of ten babies born by C-Section develops breathing complications and the mothers run the risk of developing blood clots in their lungs or legs.
Ms. Dandanell has developed a “birth contract” where the midwife promises the mother that she will have a C-Section, if the birth for some reason, does not progress according to expectations. The contract has proven to instill sufficient confidence in the pregnant mother to allow her to trust birth and her body and thus avoid surgical intervention.
Ms. Dandanell noted that the request for C-sections rose from 3, 2 percent five years ago to 19, and 4 percent today. Professor Lidegaard, who conducted the research, is suggesting that the women increasingly have become unfamiliar with their body and its’ natural functions and that they are afraid to lose control.
The birth contract addresses these subjects and an increasing number of birthing institutions have developed birth contracts based on Ms. Dandanell’s model. Ms. Dandanell stated that the goal of the contract was not to reach a particular figure, but to help the woman have a positive birth experience.
Ms. Anne Mette Holme Bertelsen, anthropologist, characterizes a”positive birth” as a birth where the woman understands what and why her body is doing what it’s doing. As such the birth contract is an excellent tool for helping the mother understands her birth.
Unfortunately, several doctors are of the opinion that the birth contract is “nonsense” and totally unnecessary. They offer an explanation of the possible negative side effects of a C-Section to their patients and opine that any further explanation is superfluous.
HypnoBirthing® child birth educators very much support the birth contract and its’ goal to help birthing women learn their body and its functions and consequently have a positive birth.
Posted by: Stella