When I was pregnant with my twins, I remember so many people automatically thinking I was going to get a c-section. Friends, particularly those without children, would casually note that I would deliver my baby by cesarean. That wasn't my plan -- I knew twins could be delivered vaginally. Though I did end up with a c-section after getting preeclampsia/HELLP syndrome.
I was lucky and I made it to 36 weeks. My babies were considered late-term preemies, and while we did have some challenges, we all ended up healthy. Late-term preemies tend to sleep through feedings and you have to wake them so they eat and thrive. I know many women who had preemies -- babies born weighing just one pound -- and their outcomes were filled with many struggles, serious complications, and heartbreakingly some babies didn't survive.
This is why people cannot understand why any woman would want to risk baby's health and deliver early via c-section. And experts are finally talking more about the dangers.
It was found that one in 10 women who have a c-section develop an infection around the c-section scar. The infection was so bad in some cases that their hospital stay was extended. Some went home only to have to be re-admitted because of the pain and severity of the infection. While some complications are minor, others are severe enough that deep tissue and internal organs can be affected. There were cases of an infection in the lining of the womb along with reproductive tract infections. Women who are overweight and teen moms were more likely to contract a serious infection after birth.
This is not only very challenging for a new mom, but for the baby as well. If a mom isn't fully recovered quickly after a c-section, it can open the door for issues with breastfeeding and even postpartum depression. This isn't just notable natural birth advocates like Ina May Gaskin who are calling out the cesarean dangers now. I'm hoping this revelation by expert doctors will have more people taking notice and realize that a c-section shouldn't be something you casually schedule like you would a haircut.
"This study has identified high rates of surgical infection following a cesarean with one in ten women developing an infection," lead author Dr. Catherine Wloch, Department of Healthcare Associated Infection and Antimicrobial Resistance, Health Protection Agency said. She went on to say how prevention should be a "clinical and public health priority."
Any woman who has to have a c-section should receive the best care, and whatever needs to be done to prevent infection is vital. I know c-sections are very often necessary and life-saving. It sure was in my case and I'm so thankful for the great team of doctors I had. I'm just hoping this study along with the facts on how having a baby before your due date by induction or early scheduled c-section will make women think twice. The risks are great -- they aren't worth it for mother or baby. We should remember that a due date is also a guess. Barring any complications, we should wait until baby is knocking on our uterus to enter the world. Every week is vital in a baby's development. Even one week can make a huge difference in how well a baby can thrive outside the world. Ask any mom of a preemie and she will tell you how having a baby early isn't worth the risk of getting baby out for convenience sake. Luckily many hospitals aren't allowing women to choose cesarean, but some hospitals also have questionable motives and seem to prescribe them out without concern for risk.
This is why we need this information. We need to educate ourselves and others so we are empowered and make the best decision for ourselves and our babies.
What do you think of this study?
Image via Mat Honan/Flickr