Stop Brazilian Doctors from Discouraging Natural Births

Target: Brazilian Minister of Health Alexandre Padilha

Goal: Change the system that rewards Brazilian doctors for pushing C-sections.

More than half of all babies in Brazil are born by cesarean section, partially due to the fact that the procedure is more lucrative for doctors than natural birth. C-sections can cause serious health complications for mothers and hamper infant brain development. Brazilian hospitals must end this dangerous trend by providing doctors with more incentives for natural births.

The amount paid to a Brazilian doctor for a C-section birth, which takes less than an hour, is almost identical to the amount paid for a natural birth, which can last an entire day. As a result, doctors are notorious for bullying patients into the faster but more invasive surgical procedure, as it allows them opportunity to make more money. If hospitals were to equalize the financial reward for these birth techniques by lowering pay for C-sections and increasing it for natural birth, women would be able to make their own personal decisions on the matter without pressure from doctors.

C-sections involve major abdominal surgery which can result in infections, anesthesia complications, blood clotting and hemorrhaging, and a longer recovery time. Not only is the procedure linked with premature birth and breathing problems in infants, but recent studies show that natural birth is an important developmental step for a healthy baby. The journey through the birth canal triggers the expression of proteins involved in brain development. Children delivered by C-section have been linked with a higher prevalence of various brain impairments that effect behavior over the lifespan. It has become clear that natural birth is the healthier option.

Brazilian women have the right to choose their birthing process. To pressure them towards one method, especially a procedure shown to be medically inferior, is immoral. By signing the petition below, you can ask Brazilian Minister of Health Alexandre Padilha to require that Brazilian hospitals create incentives for doctors to perform natural births.


Dear Minister Padilha,

Although natural birth is known to be better for mother and infant health, over half of Brazilian babies are born by C-section. This alarming trend is due in part to the fact that doctors in your country make more money from performing C-sections. As a direct result, Brazilian women experience significant pressure to forgo natural birth. Women have the right to choose their own birth plan without influence from doctors who are looking for bigger paychecks.

C-sections are invasive abdominal surgeries that not only create serious health risks for mothers, but also impede brain development in infants. The journey through the birth canal is an important step in the developmental process and should only be avoided when medically necessary. Please help discourage C-sections in Brazil by improving the financial incentive for doctors to perform natural births.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: superbez via Flickr.

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