From emergency surgery to desire for caesarean section
For many years, a steady increase in caesarean sections have been recorded. Globally, 21% of births, or around 30 million births, are delivered via caesarean section each year[1,2]. What are the reasons for this rate; are there more risk pregnancies these days?
The increase in rates of caesarean section have been aided by medical, societal, legal and socioeconomic factors. For example, improved medical care and anaesthetic procedures has minimized the risks and made the procedure more accessible. In addition, the increasing average age of mothers and the greater desire for risk protection – on the side of the doctor as well as on the patient’s side – are also significant factors.
Why the high caesarean rates?
While a caesarean section used to be considered only for emergency childbirth, today it has established itself as a very common and safe way of delivery. A caesarean section is an operation under general anaesthesia or spinal cord regional anaesthesia. Here, the baby is extracted through the uterus and the abdominal wall. The reasons for a caesarean section (also called “C- section”) can be very diverse – from a planned caesarean section to emergency surgery for birth complications. Whether you qualify for a caesarean section is best discussed with your attending gynecologist.
Advantages and disadvantages of caesarean section
The benefits of a caesarean delivery:
In the case of elective or planned caesarean delivery, the date birth is fixed so you can prepare in advance for the delivery.
The baby is born within minutes after the start of the caesarean section and the woman is free of pain during labour and not subject to the onset of uterine contractions. This in turn makes it a more gentle birth process for the child and the pelvic floor muscles of the woman.
In some circumstances, a caesarean delivery may also be safer for the baby.
The disadvantages of a caesarean delivery:
All operations carry some risk. A caesarean involves major surgery in your abdomen and pelvic area, and complications and re-admissions into hospital afterwards do sometimes happen.
Fortunately, severe caesarean section complications are very rare nowadays, which is why caesarean delivery is a good delivery option for complications or acute emergencies.
Despite the latest findings and medical knowledge, it remains a major operation with possible risks and consequences, especially for follow-up pregnancies.
However, spontaneous birth also has its advantages and risks, and whether complications occur depends on many factors. Fortunately, severe caesarean complications are very rare these days, so having caesarean section is a good delivery option for complications or acute emergencies, and is a big win for both mother and baby.