The Introduction of “Natural Cesarean” in Swiss Hospitals: A Conversation with One of its Pioneers


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The Introduction of “Natural Cesarean” in Swiss Hospitals: A Conversation with One of its Pioneers
Titre du livre
Cognition, Risk, and Responsibility in Obstetrics: Anthropological Analyses and Critiques of Obstetricians’ Practices
Chautems Caroline (co-premier), Maffi Irene (co-premier), Farin Alexandre (co-premier)
Berghahn Books
Statut éditorial
Date de publication
Editeur⸱rice scientifique
Davis-Floyd Robbie, Premkumar Ashish
Switzerland ranks among the European countries with the highest cesarean rates (32.3% in 2017). Despite a growing international movement promoting “normal childbirth,” this issue remains relatively neglected in the Swiss medical literature. If some obstetricians recognise the adverse consequences of unnecessary CS, they face difficulties in inversing the current trend. Although some public hospitals are trying to modify standard practices that contribute to increasing C-section rates such as frequent induction and systematic active management of labour, in situ decisions frequently lead to cesarean instead of vaginal deliveries. However, most obstetricians conceive normal birth as vaginal, and the majority of parents want to limit medical interventions during childbirth. In this context, the recent introduction in some Swiss hospitals of “natural cesarean,” a technique mimicking vaginal delivery, appears as an attempt to reconcile the natural childbirth model with surgical birth. “Natural cesareans” are intended to favor parents’ participation in childbirth within the constraints of the hospital environment—for example by allowing them to see the baby’s extraction and for the mother to have her baby on her chest immediately after birth.
This chapter is based on an in-depth interview with one of the two obstetricians who recently introduced the “natural cesarean” technique in French-speaking Switzerland, which has become the default protocol in the maternity ward where he practices. The interview focuses on his professional trajectory, his conception of normal childbirth and surgical birth, as well as the reasons of his commitment to “natural cesarean”. It more broadly tackles the obstetrician’s opinions on the situation of obstetrics in Switzerland including medical training, protocols and obstetric cultures in public hospitals and private clinics, and couples’ attitudes toward childbirth.
Création de la notice
19/11/2021 14:51
Dernière modification de la notice
03/08/2023 7:10
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