Family centered c-sections are a story about patient advocacy

The real story with family-centered c-sections is one of patient advocacy.

In Andrea McDaniels recent front page article, "A family-friendly cesarean" (March 20) she missed an opportunity to not only simply tell a story but to make a difference in the way medicine moves forward.

Full disclosure: I am one of the mothers she interviewed for the story. As the article alludes to, I was the first woman to have a family centered cesarean at Anne Arundel Medical Center on Oct. 1 of last year. You see, my story has been told in various media outlets over the past weeks, prior to Ms. McDaniels' article. Women, like the beautiful mom pictured in the article, Lauren Wilusz, heard how I asked an extremely caring doctor if a family centered c-section was possible. They heard how that doctor took my requests seriously. They heard how an entire hospital — nurses, administrators and anesthesiologists — all supported my wishes and worked together to make it happen.

But the new story, the story I thought Ms. McDaniels was going to tell, the one that can change the way medicine moves forward, was how so many other women are having the same experience because they heard the story of one woman and are asking for the same thing. How women together are moving medicine forward.

Change in medicine often starts when individuals expect more; when they expect better. When I talked with Ms. McDaniels, I talked about wanting to inspire other women to be that first woman at their delivery hospital; of how it is important for women (and patients in general) to understand that they can improve their care, and their child's care, and the care of other women by being informed, starting a conversation, and knowing that they deserve to be heard and taken seriously by their medical providers, as I was.

Ms. McDaniels missed the opportunity to not only tell of a new approach to c-sections, which for the record has not yet gained "widespread acceptance," as Ms. McDaniels states, but to also tell a story of patient self-advocacy. A story about how when patients, doctors and hospitals work together, with a little help from the media, amazing things can happen: more people get better care. She missed the mark.

Kristen DeBoy Caminiti, Crofton

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