I, myself, am absolutely appalled with C-Sections being used for and in any manner but saving the baby and/or mothers life in times when absolutely necessary.
The rate here in the states is easily assumed to be for other purposes for this. Because of this it’s highly unlikely I will ever go to a hospital again for birthing (unless directed by my midwife)
Have you considered a midwife or homebirth? I know that it seems scary for a first time pregnancy, but in reality and most instances a Midwife will help you stay as informed as you can be and she will help guide you through the process, rather than enforcing her medical “practice”. Many more women have rather traumatic experiences at hospitals as opposed to home birth experiences.
OR.. you could look into having a doula.. or someone that could be there to help you through your labor and stand with you with when a medical intervention is trying to be pushed as opposed to needed.
Some things that defintely help are:
Do NOT go to the hospital until you are in active labor…. in other words if you can comfortable rest through contractions it’s too early. <— Going to the hospital too early generally results in trying to “speed up” the labor and results in fetal distress which results in a c-section.
Having someone there that knows, understands, and supports the plan that you have and will be sure that while you’re unable to really think through options that you aren’t forced into any un-neccesary interventions.
Gain as much information as you can about birthing options, positions, and natural pain relieving options (like a warm bath/shower, moving, etc) so that you don’t end up stuck in bed with an epidural….. The Bradley Method is a great resource for Natural Childbirth
Also getting an epidural too early in labor can often lead to an un-neccesary c-section as well
Here are just 2 articles about information about lowering your c-section rate