A cesarean section is major abdominal surgery. When a cesarean is necessary, it can be a life saving technique for both mother and infant. However, the World Health Organization states that no region in the world is justified in having a cesarean rate greater than 10 to 15 percent. Yet, in the past twenty years, the cesarean section rates have nearly quintupled in the US, to 26% by 2002, and nearly quadrupled in Canada, to 22.5% by 2002.
Problems with Surgery
A cesarean section poses documented medical risks to the mother's health, including infections, hemorrhage, transfusion, injury to other organs, anesthesia complications, psychological complications and a maternal mortality rate two to four times greater than that for a vaginal birth.
An elective cesarean section increases the risk to the infant of premature birth and respiratory distress syndrome, both of which are associated with multiple complications, intensive care and burdensome financial costs. Even with mature babies, the absences of labor increases the risk of breathing problems and other complications.
If you are considering having a cesarean birth, discuss all the benefits and risks with your health care provider to make sure this is the right choice for you.
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