Monday, April 6, 2009

Cesareans; Once a Lifesaving Surgery Has Turned Into a Fad

I was born via emergency cesarean. My mother's pelvis was too small and I couldn't fit through, we would have both died without the surgery. Thank God that my mother was able to get a c-section.

Lately I've been hearing about something called "elective c-sections". It is becoming trendy for women to schedule their births around their busy lives. I wonder if they are informed of the serious risks associated with c-sections. Lets not forget that a cesarean is major abdominal surgery. Compared with vaginal deliveries, cesarean deliveries have twice the risk of complications and deaths of both infants and mothers when the fetus is in the normal, head-down position.

I really don't understand why anyone would choose major surgery, putting their child at risk for breathing problems, breastfeeding problems and fetal injury. According to the Mayo Clinic:
Babies born by C-section are more likely to develop a breathing problem marked by abnormally fast breathing during the first few days after birth (transient tachypnea). Elective C-sections done before 39 weeks of pregnancy or without proof of the baby's lung maturity may increase the risk of other breathing problems, including respiratory distress syndrome.

Although rare, accidental nicks to the baby's skin can occur during surgery.

The maternal risks associated with cesareans should be enough for women to stop and pay attention but when celebs like Kate Hudson, Madonna, Patricia Heaton, Toni Braxton, Elizabeth Hurley, Claudia Schiffer, and Kelly Ripa- have c-sections that were not necessary but convenient for them, the masses then think that elective c-sections are safe.

Women choosing primary elective cesarean delivery will have a higher incidence of maternal morbidity, including hemorrhage, infection, and venous thromboembolism. Maternal mortality, while a rare event in developed nations, is 2 to 3 times higher in elective cesarean delivery than in vaginal delivery, although there are no large studies of maternal mortality risk for primary elective cesarean delivery.

Hall MH, Bewley S. Maternal mortality and mode of delivery. Lancet. 1999;354:776

I urge every mother-to-be to really research childbirth, question everything and make safe choices and when a doctor offers to do a cesarean or induce labor so he/she can make their golf game, DON'T PUT YOURSELF AT RISK FOR THE SAKE OF "CONVENIENCE".

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