Elective caesarean sections are a status symbol in Brazil, a way for wealthy women to avoid the uncertainty of natural childbirth, The Washington Post reports, and now, the trend is sparking a new industry of party planners who turn the operations into festive events, complete with an audience of family and friends.
“It’s cultural,” Marcia da Costa, the director of a private hospital in Sao Paulo, told the Post. “Brazilians want to plan for everything. They don’t want to hit traffic on the way to the hospital. They want to get their nails done, get a wax, to plan it like an event.”
Brazil has one of the highest rates of caesarean births in the world, according to the Post. C-sections account for 55.5 per cent of all deliveries in Brazil — and for 84 percent in private hospitals. The rate in the U.S. for all hospitals is 32.9 percent.
Not everyone is embracing the trend. Public health officials and some top doctors in Brazil have worked to “cure the upper class of its penchant for the procedure,” the Post reports, noting certain higher risks for mothers and babies in an elective C-section compared with a natural birth.
At a recent C-section party at a private hospital in Sao Paulo, cakes were served on silver trays, and crystal vases were filled with roses. A professional makeup artist primped mother-to-be Mariana Casmalla for the big moment.
“It’s a special occasion,” Casmalla, a 28-year-old dental surgeon, told the Post. “Don’t we get dressed up for parties and special dates? It’s the same thing.”
Read the full story at The Washington Post.