In Brazil, healthy women opt for cesareans
baby October 30, 1996
From Rio de Janeiro Bureau Chief Marina Mirabella
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (CNN) — In public hospitals throughout Brazil, most women deliver their babies vaginally, usually receiving nothing to ease the pain.
But in private clinics, many women who can afford it pay for their own health care do everything they can to avoid labor pain.
“Im afraid of the contractions and the pain,” said Jane Malaguti. “I want to do whats easiest.”
Malaguti opted for a cesarean section, not because she or her baby are at risk, but because it saves her the discomfort of labor.
Many Brazilian doctors like cesareans because they can be scheduled and are quicker than vaginal deliveries. But some doctors argue that when given the choice, vaginal deliveries are best for mother and baby.
“This is scandalous. The mother may think its easier, and it may be convenient for the doctor, but babies born by cesarean are more likely to be premature, with a low birth weight,” according to Dr. Marcus Renato de Carvalho.
Renalto, a pediatrician, is part of a movement to reduce the number of cesareans in Brazil by using videos to educate pregnant women on the procedure.
Hes telling them that elective cesareans are riskier for mothers than vaginal births, and that it takes longer recover from a cesarean.
Still, it could be tough convincing some women. When Malagutis obstetrician tried to talk her out of a cesarean she didnt change her mind.
She just changed doctors.
“Childbirth should be tranquil,” she said. “Why have stress when you can avoid it?”