“The reason why we have a lot of C-Sections in the US is that there are monetary incentives to perform a C-Section,” explains Muhammad. “Insurance companies reimburse physicians at a higher rate for performing C-Sections because they are regarded as more complex procedures and major surgeries.”
Muhammad further delves into the risk aversion among doctors, noting that they may opt for C-sections to avoid prolonged labor.
“Doctors tend to be risk-averse, so they don’t have to be in labor with you for a long time. Even if they see something relatively minute, they can get your agreement for a C-Section,” she said.
She made the revelations during an interview with YouTube channel, I Never Knew TV, where she also touched on topical issues such as the benefits that communities derive from Midwives and Black women dying during childbirth.
The midwife paints a vivid picture of how these decisions to have C-Section unfold in the delivery room.
“They come in with a smile… and they introduce the idea, and before you know it, it’s over,” she added.
Highlighting the gravity of C-Sections, Muhammad stresses that it is a major surgery involving layers of tissue and muscle.
“You have to repair that [the layers of tissue and muscle cut to reach the baby], and you have an increased risk of infection, blood loss, and blood clots. Your recovery time is longer. It is not something that anybody should just do happenstance,” she cautioned.
Furthermore, Muhammad raises concerns about the tendency for subsequent C-sections once a woman has had one. “Once you have one C-Section, more than likely, the medical world is going to say that you should have a repeat C-Section.”
In the detailed interview that spanned a little over 22 minutes, Muhammad also disclosed the implications of multiple C-sections on reproductive choices, stating:
“Most doctors don’t even recommend that you have more than three C-Sections, so that also limits your ability to reproduce in a way that you might want to reproduce.”
Muhammad advocates for informed birthing choices and encourages expecting mothers to be cautious. “The goal is not to have a C-Section for the first child. Sometimes it is necessary, but as much as possible, avoid.”
Offering practical advice, Muhammad suggests a proactive approach to labor:
“One good way to avoid a C-Section is to not go to the hospital right away when you are in labor.”
Meanwhile, Asasiya Muhammad’s professional advice seemed to have triggered a myriad of reactions on social media:
“Nothing wrong with C-section. My C-section baby is thriving and Healthy. And I am as well,” someone commented.
But someone chipped in a few words of praise for the Midwife nicknamed “The People’s Midwife”:
“Blessings. Just another reason WE need Our own Doctors and Physicians that have Our interest at heart and not those driven by the exploitation of us financially. Give Thanks.”
Asasiya Muhammad’s insights provide a valuable perspective on the complexities surrounding C-section rates, urging a reconsideration of birthing practices and a focus on informed decision-making for expectant Black mothers.