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Elective C-Sections: A Class Statement

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C-sections are at an all time high with doctors cycling through all kinds reasons: women giving birth at an older age, obesity, and higher blood pressure to cite just a few. But for low-risk pregnancies, the “too posh to push” phenomenon has turned elective c-sections into a normalizing trend. Although it is now the wealthy upper classes that are electively scheduling their births (Victoria Beckham recently announced her c-section date for her baby), research by The Today Show determines that lower-income women were once receiving more c-sections.

ParentDish writes:

… “Today” reports, researchers looked at the social classes of moms of babies born via C-section in Scotland over 20 years, and found that while elective C-sections were provided for mostly lower-class women in the early ’80s, in the early 2000s, it was upper-class moms who opted to schedule their deliveries.

It should also be noted that lower-income women also face higher rates of diabetes or pregnancy-related diabetes, which could also account for the high rates.

Dr. Shari Lawson, an obstetrician with Johns Hopkins Bayview Hospital, mused:

It might be that women who are from more affluent areas might also have more education and they’re asking their doctors more pointed questions that make an elective C-section the right thing for a particular patient.

An excellent point. But whether upper-class women are simply preferring this major abdominal surgery or their education reveals them to be more in need of one, class is definitely a determining factor for c-sections.