Beyoncé and the delicate politics of the C-section
YOU know that the cult of natural childbirth is getting out of hand when one of the most influential women on the planet feels she has to justify having a Caesarean section. In her Vogue interview, Beyoncé, pictured, described how before giving birth to her twins, she was swollen from toxaemia and had been on bed rest for over a month. ‘My health and my babies’ health were in danger so I had an emergency C-section,’ she explains.
Clearly desperate not to be condemned to the despicable ranks of the ‘Too Posh to Push’ brigade, Beyoncé went on to describe the traumatic effects of the surgery. ‘We spent many weeks in the NICU… I was in survival mode and did not grasp it until months later. Today I have a connection with any parent who has been through such an experience. After the C-section, my core felt different. It had been major surgery. I am not sure everyone understands that. I needed time to heal, to recover.’
It’s a sad day for advances in maternal healthcare that any woman believes she has to prove she was at death’s door before having a C-section and then feels compelled to hammer home how it was far from a walk in the park.
Caesarean sections have become such a poor relation to natural childbirth that they can induce feelings of shame and inadequacy in women and make even a towering talent like Beyoncé feel defensive. A new TCD study shows that doctors perform them mainly out of fears of litigation, rather than in response to requests from mothers-to-be.
But what’s so terribly wrong with a woman having a C-section of her own volition? It’s a safer method of delivery. If it wasn’t, then the numbers of women having them wouldn’t be steadily increasing. Perhaps it’s time we extended the message of Time’s Up from gender to reproductive equality and bring an end to the judgmental one up woman ship of childbirth.