, Dec. 11, 2019
/PRNewswire/ -- 15 out of 100 American women will have an unplanned c-section, putting them at risk for postpartum depression, and considerable stress.
A new study finds that most women harbor regrets surrounding their unplanned c-section. The most common – and most harmful to birth satisfaction – are women's regrets relating to not standing up for themselves during delivery: "I wish I had fought harder to be respected" or "I wish I had advocated for myself regarding placement of the IV." Only emotional support from doctors and nurses mitigated regrets.
When researchers Yasmine Konheim-Kalkstein
and Talya Miron-Shatz
invited women for a study on their first and only birth experience that resulted in an unplanned cesarean, 227 women from across the USA
showed up. And opened up.
Most women (73%) had regrets surrounding their birth, which lowered their birth satisfaction. The majority of regrets involved aspects of inaction and failing to advocate for themselves, which further lowered satisfaction rates.
Women listed things such as: "I wish I had been more vocal about exactly what I wanted. I thought my doctors would ask…, but they didn't, and before I realized it things had happened that I didn't want." Others wished they had "asked more questions about why I was being induced."
Our culture encourages patient empowerment - women create birth plans and know what they want; advocacy can be a way of holding on to one's values and needs.
"We uncovered the painful side of advocating," says Miron-Shatz, an associate professor at the Ono Academic College, and a visiting researcher at Cambridge University
, whose book on medical decision making will be published by Basic Books, 2021. "It would help if women accepted the fact that delivery and labor are challenging, and treated themselves lovingly and forgivingly when they couldn't advocate under these circumstances."
There is hope. While advocacy under pain, uncertainty and fatigue is hard, regrets are avoidable, says Miron-Shatz, on doctors and nurses' role: "an honest effort at providing emotional support reduced regrets, helping women cope with the challenges of an emergency C."
is CEO of Buddy&Soul, a platform for personal development, with a dedicated pregnancy community.
CONTACT:Dr. Talya Miron-Shatz, Associate Professor, Ono Academic College, Israel.
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SOURCE Ono Academic College