Almost half of all births in China are via caesarean section, representing the world's highest rate for the procedure, according to a World Health Organization study published on Tuesday in the medical journal Lancet, the Boston Globe reports. According to WHO, rates of c-sections have reached "epidemic proportions" in many countries.
For the study, WHO reviewed almost 110,000 births in nine Asian countries in 2007-2008. The report found that 46% of births reviewed in China were c-sections and that one quarter of them were not medically necessary. Overall, the study found that 27% of births in Asia were c-sections.
Metin Gulmezoglu, a WHO official who co-authored the report, said, "The relative safety of the operation leads people to think it's as safe as vaginal birth." However, the study found that women who have c-sections that are not medically necessary are at a greater risk of dying or being admitted into intensive care units, needing blood transfusions or facing complications that lead to hysterectomies. The study found that the procedure benefits infants during breech births.
The Globe reports that the reasons for women having c-sections vary between regions and that increasing rates of the procedure follow a rise in patients' wealth and access to improved medical facilities. The U.S. c-section rate is at an all-time high of 31%, according to the Globe (Mason, Boston Globe, 1/13).
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Normal birth versus knife and fork birthing
posted by Karen Johnson on 13 Jun 2012 at 11:46 am
Giving birth normally encourages and supports normal parenting. Once the birth is over, the pain is mostly gone (except for the resolution of the uterus which causes contractions as it recloses); however, with surgical birth the afterwards is painful for several weeks, breastfeeding is awkward and less likely to succeed with surgical birth. Also, there is no sense of empowerment with a surgical birth; mothers with normal birthing are made to feel more competent and better able to handle the difficulties of mothering.
Positive outcomes come from Cesarean due to medical reasons
posted by Mary on 15 Apr 2011 at 11:50 pm
Vaginal birth is the safe method of delivery. I don't know why those who usually advocate cesarean section as the safe method are mainly men? Are you the ones who must tolerate the pain of vaginal birth? As a person who has practiced obstetrics for more than 20 years, I can say without any doubt that the safer method is the vaginal one. Let's keep the cesarean for medical reasons. I have been the witness of maternal mortalities and morbidities due to C/S and the worst one was when the surgeon was operating her own pregnant sister and the poor younger sister never woke up!! I am mostly concerned about the future of newborn who are flappy after surgery. How can anybody to this only because of money !!The ultimate reason behind the increase in the rate of cesarean is money. My experience tells me.
Study Actually Highlights Very Positive Cesarean Outcomes
posted by Pauline McDonagh (Hull) on 21 Jun 2010 at 8:54 am
This is how an article on the 'Straight Statistics' website concludes its assessment of the WHO's latest survey:
"WHO believes too many Caesareans are done without proper cause. But in interpreting these data, the authors appear to have bent over backwards to prove the point - a classic illustration of White Hat bias. The findings should be ignored."
[Extract] "Did none of the 23 think this an odd conclusion to have reached? Did no one check the arithmetic in the tables, which are full of errors? The Lancet is a distinguished journal – were its referees asleep?"
"So how many women died? None. How many suffered complications? Eight: five needed treatment in an intensive care unit (ICU), and three needed a blood transfusion. The risks for women who completed a normal birth were significantly higher. One in a thousand died, five times as many required a blood transfusion, and twice as many were admitted to an ICU. Overall, if deaths and complications are added up to make a "Maternal mortality and morbidity index", risks to mothers in the Caesarean group were 60 per cent lower than in the normal birth group.
...And what about the babies? Those born by elective Caesarean without medical indications were seven times less likely to suffer death or complications (raw data) or less than half as likely if you believe the corrected data. Understandably, the authors don't make much of this."
Straight Statistics is a pressure group whose aim is to detect and expose the distortion and misuse of statistical information, and identify those responsible. It has been formed by a group of legislators, statisticians and journalists, chaired by the Labour peer Lord Lipsey.
'China's C-Section Rate Highest Worldwide, WHO Study Says'
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