Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Cesarean/ Natural birth Dilemna

When I declared that I would go for an elective Cesarean section, not a few eyebrows went up. Grandmothers, aunts, mother, friends... went all out to convinve me that I was making a mistake. Their arguments ranged from
  • you are not going to lose weight afterwards, to
  • its just not normal, God didnt want it to be so.

Cesarean birth is favoured by doctors when the baby's size is too large for a vaginal delivery, or when there is a breach position (the baby's position is horizontal or feet first), or if there is some other complication during labour.

A lot is being written nowadays in magazines and Sunday papers about the necessity to stay with nature and prefer natural birth to Cesaream births. Its being alleged that more and more doctors are advising Cesarean births for their own monetary gains. (A normal birth costs 25,000 Indian Rupees as opposed to 75,000 INR for a Cesarean birth. There is the surgeon, of course, a pedietracian in the operating room, one or more assisting doctors, an anaesthesiologist, et al. Plus hospital stay is one to two days more.)

In many Western countries you cannot opt for a Cesarean birth unless its a medical emergency or if the baby is in breach position. But in India it is possible to choose the way you want you baby out.

The call in favour of natural birth rings sincere and vehement. Its all in the motherhood experience, that call claims. You have to feel the pain in order that you know you love your newborn. You have to push push push, for hours, sometimes for days, feel your body tear down under, get epidurals, get yourself cut too, get tongs inside so that the delivering doctor can pull out your baby's head... all in the name of natural birth.

I have heard that for a bonding to develop between mother and child it is necessary to go through the process of a vaginal delivery. I do not know how it is said. That goes to finally prove that an adopted child can never have a bonding with the adoptive mother. A womans capability of maternal love is so all-encompassing that it does not depend where the child comes from or how. It is not only a presence, it is a necessity in women to love. And personally, when I held my daughter in my arms seconds after the delivery, I only felt what all women feel at that moment, absolute awe at the miracle of God.

My lack of labour pain did neither me any harm, nor affected the love between my child and me, in any way. In fact I think its all the stronger because I hold no grudges against life for being unfair on women!!! :))

Also in the hospital, a day after my surgery, I was walking around fine, and had gone to feed thebaby in the nursery. I could hear groans from new mums who had pain moving around... and all the groaning ones had been labouring for hours to give birth. There may be trouble in post operative care and time to get back to normal, and I had to be careful not to do heavy work for three months, but it did not affect me as much as I had feared it would. And yes, I lost weight pretty fast, as I was breast feeding. My child is one and half now and I am back to my pre pregnancy weight.

You hear stories of how someone gave birth in 11 minutes flat. And you hear stories of labour continuing for days, in one case, of my friend, 3 whole days of pushing. You hear stories of how the placenta was too weak and the doctors were just minutes late in deciding that a Cesarean is the best way. You hear stories of babies born dead.

I am a mother, and believe me, when I was pregnant, I did not think of whether I would love my baby or not. I did not think what kind of money my doctor would get. I did not think what is natural and what is organic. I did not think of the pain I would have to go through to give birth normally, or the post operative care in I had a surgery.

The only thought in my mind was, I want a healthy baby. I want my baby out the safest way available to human kind today.

Yes many things are natural. Its perfectly natural to go out in the fields for your morning ablutions, but you dont, do you? Its perfectly natural to live out your life and not go to a doctor, let cancer have its way with your body, chemotherapy is after all not natural. Its natural to hunt for food and gather wild berries, supermarkets are not natural.

I did extensive research before deciding. I heard out stories of friends and relatives. I googled and went to libraries. It took me 6 months to finally decide. I will not tell anyone to not go the natural way... but I will definitely say this- I took an informed decision to have Cesarean and I have not had any problem till date about it.

And I have never felt guilty for being too posh to push.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

On Facebook? At your own risk.

Here is an article excerpt from the April 20 Time Magazine.

Forget the widely unloved redesign. Facebook has committed a greater offense. According to a new study by doctoral candidate Aryn Karpinski of Ohio State University and her co-author Adam Duberstein of Ohio Dominican University, college students who use the 200 million–member social network have significantly lower grade-point averages (GPAs) than those who do not.

The study, surveyed 219 undergraduate and graduate students and found that GPAs of Facebook users typically ranged a full grade point lower than those of nonusers — 3.0 to 3.5 for users versus 3.5 to 4.0 for their non-networking peers. It also found that 79% of Facebook members did not believe there was any link between their GPA and their networking habits.

Karpinski says she isn't surprised by her findings but clarifies that the study does not suggest that Facebook directly causes lower grades, merely that there's some relationship between the two factors. "Maybe [Facebook users] are just prone to distraction. Maybe they are just procrastinators," Karpinski told TIME.com in a phone interview on Monday, April 13.

Karpinski and Duberstein's study isn't the first to associate Facebook with diminished mental abilities. In February, Oxford University neuroscientist Susan Greenfield cautioned Britain's House of Lords that social networks like Facebook and Bebo were "infantilizing the brain into the state of small children" by shortening the attention span and providing constant instant gratification.

And in his new book, iBrain: Surviving the Technological Alteration of the Modern Mind, UCLA neuroscientist Gary Small warns of a decreased ability among devotees of social networks and other modern technology to read real-life facial expressions and understand the emotional context of subtle gestures. Young people are particularly at risk for these problems, he writes, because "young minds tend to be the most sensitive, as well as the most exposed, to digital technology."
Some experts dismiss all studies of Internet use as flawed, since there is no reasonable way to control for the myriad variables that may affect such research. For its part, Facebook declined to address the specific findings of the new study but issued a statement on Monday, April 13, saying that Facebook isn't the only diversion around; TV and video games can be just as distracting as online social networks.
Hee haa haa.