“I was very scared at the idea that my child was going to p through my womb”

“Lilac and Harper” a photo from the “Mother” series by Australian photographer Lisa Sorgini, in 2022.

In the pregnancy sections of bookstores, many guides invite the woman to give birth by finding “the power of his body”, “in full awareness” And “naturally”. With the comeback of all-natural, l birth, with a minimum of medicalization, would be the most desirable way to give birth. However, some women ask to give birth by cesarean section when there is no medical necessity and no pathology prevents them from doing so. Some have even already been on a delivery table.

This is the case of Céline, 35 years old (the first name has been changed). While she was pregnant with her first child, her obstetrician planned an induction before the term due to the baby’s heavy weight. “It was not presented to me as a choiceremembers the young woman. But I had no fears. » Two trying days will p before Céline’s son is born. Childbirth is punctuated by numerous invasive procedures: forceps in the upper pelvis, substantial episiotomy and raw incision of a hemorrhoidal thrombosis.

“It was a bit of a war sceneshe summarizes. At one point, I feared for my life and begged for a C-section. But there was persistence from the medical profession to give me a l birth. I saw a psychologist and did months of rehabilitation to repair the damage caused. » In addition to nightmares, Céline mentions pelvic pain and fecal discharge. “A humiliating situation”, she remembers. So, four years later, she does not for a minute consider giving birth lly. “Ideally, I would have liked to have my daughter without giving birth at all, she barely jokes. I was afraid that the obstetrician would not accept my request for a cesarean. But he understood my distress. »

Alexandra Bouchard, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, receives at the Franco-British Hospital women requesting a cesarean section without medical indication, if they wish. “The conscious and unconscious representations of childbirth have a real traumatic potential and each woman organizes herself as best she can to cope with it, she explains. Sometimes, they take a sidetrack such as cesarean section. But this is not a magic solution and it is important to hear what women are expressing through this request. »

Stories of traumatic births

In a research work published under the name Caesarean sections on maternal request. The feminine put to the test of childbirth (Erès, 272 pages, 28 euros), she lists what pushes women to request a cesarean section: the fear of harmful consequences of childbirth on sex or ity, or on current or future health, the fear of losing control and the fear of a lack of support in the work. It is impossible to determine how many future mothers are affected. We just know that in France the rate of cesarean sections, after having increased regularly, has stabilized at 21.4% of births. (National perinatal survey 2021) and that 32% of these are scheduled (without necessarily being requested by the woman). A relatively low rate compared to that of 30.2% per 100 live births in 2015 in Germany, for example, or 53.1% in Turkey, according to the OECD.

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