Remember that. The notion that doctor knows best has been around for hundreds of years but is it always true? Simple answer is no. Now this doesn’t mean that their many years spent at medical school counts for nothing because it does, but doctors are still human beings, they still make mistakes, are sometimes influenced by their own opinions rather than medical science and are not always up to date on current evidence based practice.
It has become apparent in many mother and baby groups on social media that some women feel they are the property of their doctors. Phrases such as “My doc has told me that he will be scheduling me in for a C-section if my baby isn’t born by August 8th (2 weeks before due date)” are becoming more and more common and the reasons I have seen vary from “well the baby is going to be 4kg so vaginal birth is dangerous” or “ I have asthma and SPD (Pelvic girdle pain) so a vaginal birth might get complicated”. The most absurd one I heard was “Doctor has scheduled me in for a C-section because I have low blood pressure” SO having a C-section will improve your blood pressure? No it will lower it even more! All of these reasonings for surgery are totally unwarranted and have no scientific backing. Many of these women do not want surgery so they turn to Facebook for advice rather than speaking with their doctors.
So why are women going along with it? Because they think their doctor ALWAYS knows best, they aren’t considering that in some places, C-sections are just a convenience for doctors and they get paid more for them. Doctors should be giving women evidence based information to make an informed choice about THEIR bodies and THEIR babies. If you are ever in doubt at what your doctor has stated they are going to do, don’t be afraid to ask questions like “can you direct me to where I can find evidence to back this” or “what is the actual risk to myself or my baby?” Ask questions, lots and lots of them! In many cases the doctors make suggestions that are in the best interest of mother and baby but in some cases the doctors do what’s best for them. For example a lady who was told her induction of labour was being scheduled in at 37 weeks 1 day. When she questioned why, the doctor said “Oh well why wait?” The reason for the Induction was that she had had a previous postpartum haemorrhage. So firstly this is no indication for an induction and in fact could increase the risk of bleeding and secondly why induce a baby 3 weeks early without clinical need? The woman actually refused as it was evident that the doctor had a spare day and just wanted to squeeze her in there. Never mind about the extra couple of weeks of growth and lung/brain development for the baby.
So ultimately ladies, always ask your doctor if something does not sound right, remember that your doctor should be giving you choices and advising you what’s best based on clinical evidence. These are medical studies that have been carried out over time to help with decision making. If something doesn’t sound right, ask! Don’t feel you have to lie down an accept something just because your doctor said so.