Thursday, January 22, 2009

C-Sections to Blame for Childbirth Complicatons

Need more evidence that choosing a C-Section could be dangerous for your health? Several newspapers this week have reported a study published in the new issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology linking the upward swing in the number of Cesarean sections performed in the United States to rising rates of serious complications in women giving birth.

"By examining hospital discharges nationwide, a team of researchers found that rates of kidney failure, respiratory distress syndrome, shock and ventilator use associated with childbirth climbed more than 20 percent from 1998-99 to 2004-05, while rates for pulmonary embolism and blood transfusions rose 50percent and 92 percent, respectively...Researchers said more frequent delivery by C-section--a major surgery--seemed to explain or contribute to the increases."

Think it's time we stop bashing birth advocates for trying to raise awareness about the dangers of C-sections? How about holding those pushing unnecessary C-sections accountable for their actions?

Sure, everyone has a right to choose what birth they want, but with women being denied VBACs (vaginal birth after cesareans) at so many hospitals in the United States and few understanding the risks of C-sections (and that entering most hospitals today moms have a 1 in 3 chance they'll have a C-section) we have to ask ourselves does choice really exist for the majority of pregnant women?

Studies like these need to be a wake up call to hospital administrators, doctors and those who work for insurance companies deciding coverage for pregnant women. Is the dollar above pregnant women's health?

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