Caesarean Births Pose Higher Risks For Mother And Baby

A multicenter prospective study to evaluate maternal and neonatal individual risks and benefits associated with Caesarean delivery. Women having a non-emergency caesarean birth have double the risk of illness or even death compared to a vaginal birth, according to a study from Latin America published today on bmj.com.

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Caesarean delivery is an operation that enables your baby to born through an incision made on your pregnant stomach. Caesarean can be planned in advance or sometimes suddenly if there are any complications or difficulty in labor.

Reasons for caesarean delivery:

  • The common reason is previous caesareans
  • If the placenta lies so low in the uterus that it covers the exit to the birth canal. This is called as placenta previa.
  • If there is a vaginal bleeding and natural delivery may not happen
  • If the umbilical cord falls forward and baby cannot be delivered easily, known as cord prolapse.
  • Fetal distress, which may occur in labor or late pregnancy when the blood supply to the placenta is reduced
  • Baby’s position, where baby is positioned sideways

What are the risks associated with caesarean delivery?

  • Risk with anesthesia, which is related to the drug usage and possible side effects of drugs to the mother and child
  • Damage to bladder or intestine
  • Blood loss during caesarean delivery is twice as much as the blood lost during vaginal birth. Sometimes, it can lead to blood transfusion or hysterectomy
  • Infections can occur at the incision site, in the uterus and in other pelvic organs such as bladder
  • Blot clots can form in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. These clots, rarely travel to the lungs and may cause life threatening pulmonary embolus.
  • Maternal mortality rate for caesarean is greater than with a vaginal birth
  • Each caesarean increases the risk involved in future pregnancies.
  • Difficulty in becoming pregnant in future and increased chances of ectopic pregnancy due to scarring
  • Bowel movements may become sluggish or slow down completely. This can lead to bloating and abdominal discomfort.
  • Recovery will be delayed twice as long as vaginal birth.
  • Premature baby birth takes place if the gestational age is not calculated properly and the baby born can be of low birth weight.
  • When the baby is delivered by caesarean, the baby can have breathing and respiratory difficulties.
  • The baby may have depressed activity at birth as measured by Apgar score. This can be due to anesthesia, medications or other factors.

For faster recovery from caesarean, consult your doctor and discuss about the precautions that are to be taken after the delivery.

Posted in: Women's Health

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