A Caesarean section, usually known as a C-section is a type of delivery procedure for a baby. Through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and a subsequent one in her uterus, the baby is surgically removed.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) most current birth statistics show that about one-third of American pregnant women gave birth through Caesarean section in 2020. The World Health Organization(WHO) estimates that C-sections account for 21% of births globally, compared to only 7% in the 1990s.
According to the BBC, several different factors, including multiple births and older mothers as well as rising obesity and diabetes rates, have been connected to these higher rates of Caesarean deliveries.
According to the Journal of Perinatal Education, other causes of increased C-section rates include the use of epidurals and labor induction methods that may result in difficulties that require surgical delivery.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has expressed concern that C-section deliveries may be overused and has suggested ways to lower the country’s rate, even though they can save both mother and child’s lives.These new guidelines urge women to avoid gaining too much weight during pregnancy (a larger baby may be difficult to pass through a woman’s pelvis safely), as well as allowing the majority of women with low-risk pregnancies to spend more time in the early stage of labor.
According to Dr. Allison Bryant, a specialist in maternal-fetal medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, minimizing unnecessary first C-sections is the key to lowering the high C-section rates in the United States.
Today, most mothers who have had a C-section to deliver their first child will eventually undergo another one, according to the expert.
Bryant emphasized the significance of understanding the reasons behind the Caesarean delivery of one-third of babies in America. She said we need to determine which babies actually require a C-section delivery in order to preserve their health and which of these surgeries may be unnecessary.
Educating women about the advantages of vaginal delivery is one method to potentially lower the country’s C-section rates, according to Bryant.
Regardless of how they give birth, “women should be as informed as possible about their childbirth options so they can have a voice in the process, advocate for what they want and make the most informed choice,” Bryant said. Here is more information about the pros and cons of the two birthing methods.
Pros and Cons of C-Section Deliveries
Pros of C-section Deliveries
- If a woman experiences extreme anxiety about giving birth vaginal delivery, which could negatively impact her delivery experience, she may decide to have a C-section.
- Compared to women who give birth vaginally, women who undergo C-sections are less likely to get pelvic organ prolapse and urine incontinence.
- Compared to vaginal birth and labor, a surgical birth can be planned in advance, making it more convenient and predictable.
- A C-section can save the mother’s or the baby’s life in emergency situations.
Cons of C-section Deliveries
- When compared to vaginal deliveries, C-sections often result in longer hospital stays—two to four days on average.The healing process takes longer, and there may be greater pain and discomfort in the abdomen as a result of the requirement of at least two months for the skin and nerves surrounding the surgical scar to recover.
- According to the U.K.’s National Health Service, a C-section increases the chance of post-delivery conditions including pain or infection at the incision site and more prolonged soreness.
- According to Bryant, there is a higher chance of blood loss with a C-section because the bowel or bladder could be damaged during the procedure or a blood clot could form.
- A 2012 review article in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who gave birth vaginally are more likely to start breastfeeding right away than those who had a C-section.
- According to 2006 research published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, women are three times more likely to die with a cesarean delivery than during vaginal birth, primarily because of blood clots, infections, and complications from anesthesia.
- According to a 2019 study published in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology, babies born by C-section may be more prone to experience breathing issues at birth and even during childhood, such as asthma.