U.S. Markets closed

Brazilian Women Are Throwing Elaborate C-Section Watch Parties —and Everyone’s Invited

Abby Gardner
Some spend around $10,000 on guest books, monogrammed sheets, personalized water bottles, and more.

When you think of women giving birth via Caesarean section, a big old party might not be the first thing that comes to mind—it is major abdominal surgery, after all. But a new story from the Washington Post reports that the latest maternity-related trend in Brazil features wealthy women throwing elaborate (and expensive) celebrations for their elective C-sections and inviting friends and family to watch the entire thing.

Elective C-sections, where the procedure is scheduled ahead of time, have long been popular in Brazil. The Post reports that Caeasarean births make up 55.5 percent of all deliveries in Brazil (and 84 percent in private hospitals). By comparison, the paper states that in the US that number is just 32.9 percent. Now some women are turning these births into major events and hiring "maternity planners" to plan the parties—and hospitals are starting to cater to them.

For example, there is a private hospital in São Paulo where a woman can pay 2000 reais per day (or $500) to rent out a suite that has a balcony and a mini bar, plus a living room and bathroom for guests. In the works? A new maternity ward that will have a wine cellar and a ballroom. “It’s cultural,” Marcia da Costa, the hospital’s director, told the paper. “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.”

Mariana Casmalla had a C-section party in full makeup, complete with crystal vases filled with roses and silver trays with chocolates and cakes for her guests. “It’s a special occasion,” she told the Post. “Don’t we get dressed up for parties and special dates? It’s the same thing.” One event planner says that her clients spend around $10,000 for services like flowers, guest books, monogrammed sheets, personalized water bottles, and favors for guests.

However, the Post reports that the World Health Organization has been working for years to reduce the number of elective C-sections because they are "nearly twice as deadly for mothers than natural births and require longer recovery times for mothers and babies."

Obviously, however women and their families should decide how they want to welcome children into the world—including privately and with little fanfare—as long as the health of all involved is the top priority. For these Brazilian women, being surrounded by people they love makes the experience that much more special. “I love it,” Bruna Viera, who spent weeks planning her scheduled birth party, told the Post. “You feel the tenderness people have for you. Many moms suffer from postpartum depression and feel isolated. Your hormones are raging. But to be surrounded by the people you love, people who saw you grow up, is extraordinary.”

Originally Appeared on Glamour