Aneka wanted to experience natural childbirth with her fourth pregnancy, so instead of her scheduled C-section, she gave birth at home with a midwife. Was she foolish to take such risks? Experts say yes!
Aneka (she doesn’t want to reveal her last name) was supposed to check in to a Maryland hospital for her scheduled C-section — just like she’d done with her first three kids — on December 2. But this time the mom-to-be had different plans. “I asked my doctor if I could try delivering vaginally, and she said no. I called the hospital and they said the wouldn’t allow it,” she tells CNN. After calling three other local hospitals and getting the same disappointing results, Aneka decided to go a different route.
She contacted the International Cesarean Awareness Network, just seven weeks before her December 1 due date, and asked if they could find her someone who would help her deliver naturally. When ICAN worker Bobbie Humphrey put Aneka in contact with a midwife who would happily help with the vaginal delivery, the expectant mom was overcome with joy. “She started to cry because she’d heard ‘no, no no you can’t do this’ so many times,” Humphrey says.
Most medical professionals advise against attempting to deliver vaginally after having already had a C-section. “After a C-section, the previously cut uterine muscle is scarred and weakened; and after three C-sections, the risk of ruptured uterus with resulting hemorrhage — even death — was extremely high,” Dr. Melody T. McCloud, M.D. tells HollyBaby.com.
On December 5, after 20 hours of labor and just four minutes of pushing, Aneka gave birth to a 9 pound 6 ounce baby boy, Annan Ni’em, from the comfort of her home. “We were all crying at the delivery,” says Humphrey, who assisted the midwife during the birth. “It was very emotional. I was just so proud of Aneka.”
But Dr. McCloud tells HollyBaby.com that this happy story could have had a much more horrible ending. “I would not advise any expectant mother to do this. Not at all,” says the Atlanta-based obstetrician-gynecologist. “This woman was most fortunate, this time, that she delivered the child without harm to herself and the infant. No one should applaud her for this decision which put her and her infant in undue risk. I know many woman want to do the au naturel thing, or just let Mother Nature run her course. But we, as doctors, are here to help patients, not hurt them.”