The deal I’ve heard on twins and c-section is that ‘Because we so often have to deliver the second twin by c-section ANYWAY, why have both a vag AND a c-section to recover from? Just go with the c-section from the get-go!’ And the reason the second twin is so often a c-section is what? I wonder how often they allow enough time for the second twin to turn into position, and for labor to resume (there’s often a rest period while the baby gets into place, IIRC). And how often is ‘so often’?
I haven’t had a c-section, but my opinion on this trend is that it is based on the same things that the trend toward medicated birth was based on 50+ years ago… very little education in the mothers about how labor works (or their bodies function), and an acceptance of the female body as negative/backward and science as positive/all-knowing/advanced. Add in a dash of prestige (from being able to AFFORD the medicalized version), and you have a budding trend on your hands.
I also suspect that the state of obstetrics prior to this trend in Latin America has not exactly been to put the women in control, educate them, give them the tools and power to cope well with labor, encourage them to trust their bodies and their capacity to deliver, provide individual support for them during labor, and so forth. A good natural birth experience may well seem like a wild anomaly. Compared to a hellish, out-of-control, agonizing, and anxiety-provoking ‘normal’ delivery, c-sections may indeed seem a godsend, and if you are scheduling one anyway, why not at a convenient time? I’ve heard some doozy stories of hellish deliveries even in the US, and certainly a reasonable c-section sounds better than THAT. This may be part of where the decision-making is coming from, having not had a cycle of positive vaginal labor/delivery experiences in the culture to draw on. Even the OBs may be viewing this as a medical decision, because of the trauma they’ve witnessed when a woman is ‘allowed’ to deliver ‘naturally’ (without the necessary education or support).
Heck, I’ve been told that my general lack of pain in labor was ‘just because I was lucky’ not because I trained, practiced, educated myself, prepared, and then worked my butt off to stay focused and relaxed during three days of labor. Even though I can tell you that when I stopped using my trained coping methods, labor hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, and when I did use those methods, it didn’t ‘hurt’ at all (though it wasn’t at all comfortable, either, it just wasn’t painful, and the general discomfort was certainly within my capacity to deal with)… ‘just lucky’, my ass. But people even in the US (where we have at least a small trend toward trusting our bodies) simply are not willing to believe that a normal person can manage their labor to make it well within their capacity to deal with without trauma. Like, we WANT it to be miserable and agonizing for some reason, we don’t want to beleive that it could possibly be good.
That need for it to be horrible under normal conditions may also be present in the Latin American culture… knowing my step-mom, who is from Equador, I can certainly believe that ‘you are supposed to suffer horribly just because you are a woman’ is part of the culture. C-sections may be a backlash against that, too, a way for women to say, I’m a woman, and I don’t need to suffer, I can choose NOT to suffer. Even though c-sections are painful, choosing to suffer man-made pain rather than God-made pain may be a step up in self-esteem and pride in being a woman. Twisted, but possible.