1.3 million children or one in every three babies are being delivered by Cesarean section
estimate that in over 50% of instances when C-sections are performed in
the U.S.A., the
babies could be safely delivered vaginally.
awareness month highlights
the increasing Cesarean cases, and promotes vaginal birth wherever possible.
month of April is observed as the 'Cesarean Awareness Month' and was initiated
by the International Cesarean Awareness Network.
The organization aims to bring attention to the high number of cesareans performed in
the United States and the lack of access to medical care for vaginal birth after
or C-section Delivery
of a baby through an incision in the mother's abdomen is known as cesarean
or a C-section. It is a surgical method of
delivering a baby, undertaken when normal vaginal delivery is not possible or
risky for the mother or baby.
Latin word 'cedere' means 'to cut', from which 'Cesarean' might have originated. 'Cesarean section' means to 'cut out'.
Numbers of Cesarean Deliveries
is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S.A., and approximately 1.3 million children each year or one in every three babies are being delivered by surgery.
- In a survey done considering data
between 1990-2014, Latin
America and the Caribbean region has the highest CS rates (40.5%),
followed by Northern America (32.3%).
global average CS rate increased 12.4% (from 6.7% to 19.1%) with an
average annual rate of increase of 4.4%.
only in developed countries but also in developing nations such as Asia
15.1%, (from 4.4% to 19.5%) and 4.5% in Africa (from 2.9% to 7.4%), CS rates have gone up.
had the highest annual increase of 6.4%.
the other extreme, Africa had the smallest absolute rise (4.5%) and
remained as the region with the lowest CS rates
Although the gap between higher and
lower-resource settings remains, C-section rates have increased.
Cesarean section was
initially done when pregnant mothers died due to illness. The baby was removed
from the mother's womb. Later it was also done when the mother was alive; in
cases of breech position, low levels of amniotic fluid, failure to labor.
‘Cesarean awareness month is observed to improve maternal and child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans, reducing the growing number of cesareans through education and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean.’
Lower rate of fetal
mortality, birth injury, neonatal asphyxia and encephalopathy
a lesser risk of postpartum hemorrhage and stress urinary incontinence are few
other reasons for a c-section.
are personal preferences and decisions that call for a C-Section. Various
repeated reasons in many studies are:
of pain or labor
about genital modifications after vaginal delivery
of the baby: misconception that CS is safer for the baby
of doctors/specialists: the convenience for health professionals and also
for the mother and family
tolerance to any complications or outcomes
Why Not a C-Section?
middle and high income countries, the use of CS has increased despite the lack
of evidence supporting maternal and paternal benefits and some studies showing
a link between increasing CS rates and poorer outcomes.
A study done using data
collected from 26 countries found that no significant differences existed in
maternal mortality or serious maternal morbidity between planned cesarean
section and planned vaginal birth for breech presentation.
WHO global survey on
maternal and perinatal health in Latin America, in fact, revealed that the
rate of cesarean delivery was positively associated with postpartum antibiotic
treatment referring to the infection after surgery
, severe maternal and
neonatal morbidity, and maternal and fetal death.
Compared to planned vaginal delivery and unplanned CS,
planned cesarean delivery was associated
- an increased risk
of infection, anesthetic complications and placenta previa (discharge of
placenta before the baby is delivered)
- risk of
complications in subsequent pregnancies
- longer hospital
stay of mothers and neonates
- higher risk of
respiratory morbidity for infants
Apart from health concerns, the medical
expenses are higher as far as C-section delivery is concerned.
The Cesarean awareness
month calls for reducing the number of unnecessary C-sections and promote
vaginal birth after C-section which can be achieved with the guidance and
support of health care providers. Reference:
section delivery in India: causes and concerns - (https://iussp.org/sites/default/files/event_call_for_papers/Caesarean%20section%20delivery%20in%20India_0.pdf)
- The Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Rates:
Global, Regional and National Estimates: 1990-2014 - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4743929/)