C- Sections are apparently preferred by many women nowadays. It seems many even plan theirs for the future, and almost everyone knows someone who has either gotten one. During the period between 1996 and 2009, a rise of 60% was seen in C-Sections, but for the first time in many years, the cesarean deliveries have leveled and not increased.
In 2009, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) launched a public health campaign to discourage physicians and expecting mothers from undergoing unnecessary C-sections. Experts believe this nonprofit women’s health care advocacy group to be responsible for curbing the upward trend.
C-Sections can seriously endanger your health and they are certainly riskier than vaginal births. Namely, that procedure actually means cutting into the abdomen and exposing you to bacteria, which drastically increases your risk of getting an infection. S- Sections can also increase your odds of blood clots, excessive bleeding and even death.
Furthermore, C- Sections take an intense physical toll on your body. The duration of a post- C- Section recovery is up to six weeks, while in case of a vaginal birth, it takes only one to two weeks.
According to previous research cited in the ACOG guidelines, after recovering, your C-Section could complicate future pregnancies; women who have cesarean deliveries face an increased risk of bladder and bowel injuries, placenta implantation problems, a second cesarean delivery, uterine rupture, and the need for a hysterectomy.
Facts say that between 2009 and 2012, about 31 percent of births in the United States were cesarean deliveries. And even without data on which of those were medically necessary, it is estimated that 8% were avoidable.
Reasons for C- Sections Rise
Despite of the complications due to this procedure, there has been a sharp rise between 1996 and 2009, which has resulted from several reasons.
One reason is convenience—for both the mother and the doctor. C-Sections are often scheduled by mothers, for instance, when their family members are in town, to help them take care of their children.
In addition, this was also found by older studies, which discovered that C-sections are more common on Fridays and between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. One rather disturbing fact is that even some doctors might recommend inducing labor so that they don’t have to spend their nights and weekends working.
Another reason for this increase is in cases of women who have undergone one C- Section. Giving birth to a second child vaginally becomes riskier when a woman has already had a baby via cesarean.
Moreover, even doctors are wary of performing risky procedures, both out of fear of harming the mother, and to avoid being sued. The journal Obstetrics and Gynecology published a pool in 2010 which showed that 29 percent of obstetrician college members said they were performing more cesareans to avoid lawsuits.
When a C-Section is The Better Alternative
Like most medical decisions, the final word is always up to the mother and the doctor to determine the best way to deliver the baby. However, C-Sections are sometimes necessary to ensure the safety of the mother and child. According to the ACOG, you might be a prime candidate for a C-Section if:
- The baby has an abnormal heart rate
- There’s a problem with the placenta
- Your contractions aren’t strong enough to move the baby on their own
- The baby is particularly large or breech
- You’re infected with an STI that could infect your baby if it were to go through the birth canal
- The umbilical cord is pinched or compressed
- You’re carrying multiples and they’re very small or poorly positioned
- You have diabetes, which could lead to a larger baby
- You have high blood pressure, which can lead to preeclamsia, a dangerous condition that can damage your organs and can only be cured by childbirth (which is why an early-term cesarean delivery may be necessary)
Be wary of doctors who persuade you to have a C-Section right off the bat, especially in case your health is relatively good and you are young. Macrones advises that if you can have a vaginal birth safely, you should. So before you sign off on a C-Section, you should ask your doctor if you can give birth vaginally, since in that way, you face a lower rate of infection and will experience a faster recovery.
Other included sources linked in FHFN’s article:
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