Shouldn't you be at the hospital???

That's what my mom is saying, frantic, from a Skype call, because I am having contractions on and off.

You see, we are from Brazil, and in Brazil, with the first sign of contraction a woman is wheeled into labor and delivery and if she doesn't progress, she gets induced... And if she doesn't progress yet again, she has a c-section, and no one thinks anything of it. And no, babies are not born with a third eye or have social awkwardness later on. The mortality rate for mom and child is no higher either, by comparison.

"You'd be home with the baby by now," my mom says, if I were in Brazil.

In my native country, about 56% of women undergo elective cesarians as opposed to 36% in the United States.

My doctor dances around the idea of my needing a c-section and he seems to be cautious to mention the big c word, like it's a big elephant in the middle of the room. I broke it down to him, "Doc, I am Brazilian. We have a very casual instance on cesarian, so there's no concern here." He mentioned that the statistics for educated, middle class and up for women in Brazil is even higher for cesarians, reaching the 90%, which doesn't surprise me.

Very few of my friends and family know someone who had a natural, vaginal birth. The ones who did were surely drugged up.

I find it interesting the differences in both cultures when it comes to giving birth, because Brazilians are in general much more inclined to hug trees and embrace natural, family related things, while my view of Americans is that there is much higher acceptance of needing and depending on some sort of drug and medical intervention. A lot of people I know in the United States seem to be on some kind of daily-type pill, whether for depression, or cholesterol, or some other heart problem and mood disorder.

Brazilians tend to suck it up and stay unhappy and crazy, or just go up and die young.

Also, antibiotics are prescribed in the US like they are M&Ms while in Brazil they are a big taboo.

So how come when it comes to birth, both cultures are so switched?

Another difference I have noticed is in the privacy of birth. Brazilians, who are usually on your face and in your business with no reservations in doing so, are much more private about the whole thing. No family members are invited in the delivery room. The husband is lucky if he can get in there. There's no pooping on the table either when it's time to push the baby out. In Brazil, laboring women get some sort of colonoscopy, or some intestinal clean up, before baby makes his or her debut.

Meanwhile and surprisingly, in the United States, a country where privacy and personal space is of paramount importance, decency goes out the window when it's time to push a baby out. Not only the whole staff of the hospital is allowed to come and go as they please, but the family of the laboring woman (sometimes in-laws, for Pete's sake) are welcomed in, and they will all watch umphased as the woman hangs vunerably with her parts wide open and when she delivers a turd along with the baby.

No, thank you.

This is one part of my culture I wish I could bring here.

I tell my mom, sarcastically, "There is a method to the madness in giving birth here, mom. Basically they have you labor at home until you feel like you are about to die, then you go to the hospital and you may or may not get drugs... It all depends if the anesthesiologist is nearby and not overworked... And then you push the baby and poop until both of you are about to die... Meanwhile the whole hospital staff seems to already know how your vagina looks like... Then they decide on an emergency cesarian and it is all rushed and panicky... So, yeah, it's like a big conspiracy to make women terrified of giving birth. I wonder if that's how they are keeping their population growth from increasing too fast... By instilling motherhood terror with medieval techniques..."

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