Could Labor Be Considered Child Abuse?

That's the scary implication behind one hospital's attempt to keep a mom-to-be from trying a vaginal birth after previous C-sections (VBAC). Mom-to-be Jennifer Goodall received a letter from the hospital where she planned to give birth, Bayfront Health Port Charlotte in Florida, stating that "because she decided to have a trial of labor before agreeing to cesarean surgery, her prenatal care providers intended to report her to the Department of Children and Family Services, seek a court order to perform surgery, and to perform cesarean surgery on her 'with or without [her] consent' if she came to the hospital," according to a press release from the National Advocates for Pregnant Women.

Goodall tried to fight it in court, but was unsuccessful—the judge said that she had no "right to compel a physician or medical facility to perform a medical procedure in the manner she wishes against their best medical judgment." (And that's despite the fact that Goodall herself said she wasn't adverse to having another C-section—but just wanted the chance to try laboring.) In the end, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy last weekend, at a different hospital where they were willing to allow her to labor—and had a C-section.

But this wasn't the first time that a woman reported being bullied into a C-section. We reported about a woman who was suing a New York-area hospital for forcing her to have a C-section against her will.

VBACS aren't right for everyone. But at a time when the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is expressing concern over the startling numbers of C-sections (one in three babies is born via C-section now), why are so many hospitals still pushing for surgery? And why are they using scare tactics like reporting parents to Child Services for questioning the hospital protocol?

Sometimes planned vaginal births can turn into unplanned c-sections. Find out the most common reason why this happens and what to expect.

 

Image: Rissy Story/Shutterstock.com

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