Elective Cesarean: Babies On Demand
C-Sections are on the rise and moms are getting blamed, but is it really the woman's fault?
Where Do We Go From Here
Doctors say that while advances in C-section delivery have increased its
safety profile considerably, risks still remain higher than for a vaginal
delivery, and rise still higher with every C-section a woman has.
"By the time a woman gets to her third cesarean, she's at serious risk
for life-changing and even life-threatening complications," says
In the September 2006 issue of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a group
of French researchers found that the rate of maternal death from C-section was
three times that of vaginal delivery, due mostly to increased risk of blood
clots, infections, and complications from anesthesia.
Moreover, the first study to examine risks to babies born via elective
cesarean, published in this month's edition of Birth, reported that in
6 million births, the risk of death to newborns delivered vaginally was 0.62
per thousand live births versus 1.77 for those delivered by elective
Recent news statements by Stanley Zinberg, MD, deputy executive vice
president of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, show that
while ACOG continues to review maternal-request cesarean, "At this time,
our position is that cesareans should be performed for medical
Still, all the experts interviewed by WebMD said individual patient need --
and choice -- should remain the prime considerations when deciding how to give
For example, Bernstein says that for a woman who is 40 and having her one
and only child, a C-section isn't a bad choice, while for a young fertile woman
having her first child it could be a mistake.
Explains Bernstein: "Essentially the first delivery lays down the risks
for all subsequent deliveries -- so if you can have your first and hopefully
your second baby delivered vaginally, it's better for you, and better for your
Hollywood ... are you listening? Stay tuned.