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Friday, 7 June 2013

Emergency C-Sections...tomorrow

The midwives in the hospital here are the janitors too.  They deliver the babies, mop the floors, change the sheets, train the doctors and new midwives and admit the patients.  They are often tired.  The last few times I have been there helping out, it has been one midwife running the whole ward. 

When there is a problem, it can take sometimes 24 hours to get everyone in place for a C-section.  At times, everyone just happens to be there and it goes off without a hitch.  Often though, it takes a very long time.  I witnessed this being told to a mother the other day..."Your baby is in distress, but we won't be able to even try to induce until tomorrow morning when we have a doctor on call, in case you need a C-section as a result of the induction."

It struck me the other day that most homebirths in the USA have more access to emergency help if needed than the labor and delivery ward here.  Just an interesting thought.

Speaking of C-sections, I came upon a woman the other day who was so upset when she was told they would have to cut her to get her baby out. (She was 6 centimeters and the baby was lying in a transverse position.)  It wasn't until I explained to her that she would be asleep and not awake feeling them cut her, that she calmed down at all.

Imagine thinking they were going to just cut you open while you watched, feeling everything!


  1. Thankfully, surgery with anesthesia so normal as to be considered obvious in the USA. This hasn't always been the case, especially in women's health. Marion Sims, the "father of American gynecology," experimented on his slaves without anesthetic to develop his fistula-repair surgery. Initially even after drugs were available, he didn't use them on his slaves. Thank goodness we've reached a point where surgery without anesthesia is unfathomable.

  2. Becca, Thanks for the little history lesson. That sounds just awful.