The increased rate of caesarean section due to maternal demand without medical reason makes it an urgent concern for a mother to understand the health risk of allergy, asthma for her child, especially when the parents have a history of allergy or asthma. Latest addition to the list is obesity. Scientists believe the babies are left vulnerable by avoiding the journey through the birth canal, which would normally expose them to their mother’s bacteria.
Supporters believe that surgery eliminates the rare but terrifying complications of vaginal delivery that result in birth injuries or even a baby’s death. Those who favor cutting back on cutting decry the lengthy recuperation and the increased risks during subsequent pregnancies of uterine rupture and other problems.
Risks Involved with C-Section
- C-sections mean a longer hospital stay and weeks of recuperation. In the words of one patient “With my c-section I was stuck in the bed for 10.5 hours, it hurt to try to sit up and get out of the bed, even with the nurse’s assistance, my feet were swollen for 2.5 weeks and none of my shoes fit, I had to take pain pills around the clock for close to two weeks, I wasn’t allowed to lift anything heavier than the babies and it took at least a month to feel like myself again.”
- Abdominal Pain: In a survey of nearly 1,600 new mothers, Declercq and his colleagues found that more than three quarters of the ones who had had C-sections felt abdominal pain over the next two months and about 1 in 5 was having discomfort after six months.
- Caesarian birth greatly increases a baby’s chances of developing allergies, a study has found. Infants delivered by C-section are five times more likely than those born naturally to become allergic to common triggers such as dust mites and pets, according to the research.
- The higher likelihood during future pregnancies of having placenta previa, in which the placenta blocks the cervix and detaches during labor (potentially cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply), or a ruptured uterus, increasing the possibility of hysterectomy and fetal death in utero.
- The surgery also carries a slightly elevated risk of death for the mother because of complications from anesthesia, infections, and blood clots.
- Lifetime display of scar tissue that forms at the incision site which can lead to bowel obstructions years or decades later.
- In December(2008), researchers reported in the British Medical Journal that babies delivered by elective C-section three weeks before the due date, compared with same-age babies delivered vaginally or by emergency C-section, had four times the risk of breathing complications and five times the risk of serious lung problems because of immature lung development. The risks were lower but still elevated among those born two weeks early.
- Asthma Incidence has been found to be higher among babies born via c-section. In a study, about 3,000 children were followed until the age of 8 years with regard to respiratory health, and this data was compared to the methods of birth. At age 8, 12.4% (362) had been diagnosed with asthma and thus prescribed inhaled steroids. While only 8.5% (247) of the children were born by cesarean, but these children were nearly 80% more likely to have a diagnosis of asthma, in comparison to the children delivered naturally.
- Latest in the list is, C-Section Babies At High Risk Of Obesity: Babies who are born through Cesarean section (c-section) are much more likely to become obese when they grow up compared to babies e are delivered vaginally, reveals a new study carried out in the U.K which included more than 10,000 children. The study, led Dr. Jan Blustein, Ph.D., M.D., from the New York University of Medicine, analyzed data on a total of 10,219 British born children between 1991 and 1992. Dr Blustein said that “there may be long-term consequences to children that we don’t know about” associated with C-sections. At the age of 11, those who were delivered by C-section were found to be 83 percent more likely to be overweight than those born vaginally.
“We’re seeing more obese women and that leads to more” caesareans because they are more likely to have other medical conditions that can lead to complications during childbirth, such as diabetes and high blood pressure, says Jacques Moritz, director of gynecology at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center in New York.
No doctor’s should perform a C-Section for “convenience”, it would be medical malpractice to perform major surgery with potential life threatening risks for the “convenience” of not having to go through labor.
In 2011, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) published new guidelines on caesarean sections. Check them out at: http://guidance.nice.org.uk/ to avoid unnecessary operations.