Babies made-in-India - 6. Medicalization of birth
70% of Indian babies are born at home, with the help of a midwife (dai). Paradoxically, the 'modern' hospitals (which rank from very bad to at par (or even better) than Western infrastructures) do not recognize this profession! As a result, my (British) midwife was often denied access to the delivery room, or Gynec would refuse to team up with her (in any case, the Gynec would remain the boss and not consult her).
Indians tend to blindly trust doctors. Therefore, the practice of episiotomy (a preventive cut of the vagina), while in sharp decline in the West (5), remains widespread. Most mothers don’t even know that it is optional. Worse, most new mothers don’t even know it is going to happen to her! And they can’t be blamed: even my Gynec never mentioned episiotomy and it is thanks to my midwife that I got to know about it it...
Moreover, Indian women are not well aware of anesthesia during childbirth. To the point that I couldn’t find statistics, except a small survey which confirms my opinion. When I mentioned the epidural to friends and colleagues, they generally had never heard of it and were unable to understand how to deliver a baby without feeling contractions – a valid question I must say, that I could answer only after having my baby!
Nowadays nearly half of the deliveries in India are acts of surgery (compared to 21% in France, 25% in England)... And as much in the countryside as in the cities.
Even more striking is the increase in scheduled C-sections (vs. medically necessary ones). The culprits? A bit everyone. For doctors it is more profitable (they charge more for surgical procedures), easier to fit in the agenda and (some claim it) less risky for the patient. A for women, it is often reimbursed by private insurances, perceived as less painful, easier to fit in the agenda (especially when they have Astral imperatives and want the baby to be born with an auspicious star configuration (I am not kidding!)) and (some believe so) less risky.
(5) In France, "the episiotomy rate has decreased from 71 to 45% between 1998 and 2010”.
Sources: http://www.midwiferytoday.com/articles/india.asp ;http://www.liberation.fr/vous/2011/10/18/70-d-accouchements-avec-peridurale_768628 ; http://www.who.int/healthsystems/topics/financing/healthreport/30C-sectioncosts.pdf ; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/16/c-section-rates_n_5161162.html?ir=India ; http://qz.com/326402/cesarean-births-in-india-are-skyrocketing-and-there-is-reason-to-be-very-worried/; http: / / www.cesarine.org/ front/etat_des_lieux.php . http://www.hscic.gov.uk/catalogue/PUB12744/nhs-mate-eng-2012-13-summ-repo-rep.pdf; http://www.Liberation.fr/vous/2011/10/18/70-d-accouchements-avec-peridurale_768628
(To be continued...)