Cesarean section births are on the rise. In 2007, 32% of all births in the United States were C-sections compared to 23% in 2000 (in other developed countries the rates range between 10-15%). While some C-sections are medically necessary due to birth complications (e.g. a breach birth etc.), there has been an increase in the number of “elective C-sections” Many women choose C-section births because they wish to avoid the pain and discomfort of birth. Others wish to control the time of the birth to eliminate uncertainty. In other cases, doctors may promote unnecessary C-sections to reduce liability, boost costs, or simply for convenience. It should be remembered that a cesarean section is major surgery. Research suggests that there is a greater risk of the mother dying in a C-section compared to a vaginal birth. Other risks include infection, blood loss, respiratory complications, and longer hospital stay and recovery time. There are also risks to the baby, including breathing problems, low Apgar score, injuries caused by an accidental nick during the incision, as well as the lack of stimulation that normally ensues from a vaginal birth.
For more information about developmental issues surrounding the birth process, see my book The Human Odyssey: Navigating the Twelve Stages of Life
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