If you’re pregnant and your doctor has suggested a cesarean section, you might want to get a second opinion. It is estimated that a large majority of C-sections are completely unnecessary and may be quite harmful to both mother and child. Between the years of 1996 and 2007, the number of cesarean sections performed in the United States rose by more than 50 percent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 1 in 3 pregnant women now delivers by cesarean section. It is believed that modern women are pressured by their doctors to have a cesarean so as to fall in line with a more “streamlined and efficient” method of delivery. Often, there is no medical reason behind the procedure!
Fear of pain and concern about body image are two more common 21st century reasons for opting for a C-section in lieu of a vaginal delivery. Studies have shown that children delivered by cesarean are at increased risk for lifelong allergies, asthma, and obesity.
Are you putting your child at risk?
Certain Health Factors Warrant a Cesarean Section
For some expectant mothers, a cesarean section is the best option for both mother and child, despite the risks.
These health factors include:
- Placental Problems – Placental problems such as placenta abruption (detached placenta) or placenta previa (placenta growing over the cervix) warrant the medical use of a C-section.
- Diabetes – Diabetic women whose blood sugar is not well-controlled could be at risk for having a baby that could be too large for vaginal delivery.
- High Blood Pressure – A mother with high blood pressure may lead to an irregular heartbeat for the child and blood-clotting problems for the mother.
- HIV – If the viral load of an HIV-positive mother is detectable, a cesarean section is almost always warranted to prevent transference to the child.
- Genital Herpes – C-section helps prevent the development of neonatal herpes in children born to mothers with active herpes infection.
- Fetal Distress – If your baby’s oxygen supply is compromised during labor and delivery, an emergency C-section might be necessary.
- Multiple Babies – If you’re expecting to deliver three or more babies, your doctor may suggest a C-section (although that doesn’t mean it’s absolutely necessary).
Babies Delivered by Cesarean Section at Risk for Allergies and Obesity
During a vaginal delivery, a baby is exposed to all the beneficial bacteria from the birth canal, which helps build a strong immune system. When a child is delivered by cesarean section, he or she misses this critical infusion of healthy bacteria, and is left at risk for allergies, asthma, and obesity.
According to a study lead by author, Christine Cole Johnson, chairwoman of the health sciences department at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, babies born by C-section have a noted pattern of at-risk microorganisms in their digestive tract, which may make them more likely to develop an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE) when exposed to common allergens.
According to a study done on British children, researchers found that 10,000 11-year-old children delivered by C-section were 83% more likely to be overweight! Without the introduction of the beneficial bacteria from the digestive tract, a child may develop a life-long inability to properly metabolize carbohydrates. This could also increase his or her risk of developing type II diabetes.
If your child has been born by cesarean section, you can reduce the risk of these health complications by giving your growing infant some high-quality probiotics. Put some specially-formulated for kids into their bottle or take them yourself if you’re nursing. Studies have shown this to be a highly-effective way of preventing the development of allergies, asthma, gastrointestinal disorders, and behavioral abnormalities.
Cesarean Section Carries Serious Risks for the Mother as Well
A delivery by C-section puts the mother at risk for a slower recovery time, which often includes months of abdominal pain. Infection, blood loss, and risk of blood clots are other risks associated with surgical delivery. Furthermore, the likelihood of postpartum depression increases 6 times when a mother delivers via C-section!
Avoid Cesarean Section Through Education and Preparation
- Use Good Nutrition During Pregnancy
Many expectant mothers underestimate the importance of good nutrition before, during, and after their birth. A diet high in protein, vegetables, fruits, and healthy fats go a long way in preparing your body for the experience of childbirth.
- Stay Moving and Active During Labor
Studies have shown that laboring mothers who lay in bed during the process have an increased risk for C-section. During early labor, get up, walk around, and switch positions regularly to keep your muscles active and your body working through your labor naturally.
- Read Books and Attend Classes
Many 21st-century mothers rely too heavily on the clinical advice they receive without doing any research of their own. Reading books about pregnancy and childbirth can help you feel better-prepared and confident about the process. It’s important to know what to expect and all your options so you’re not just swept into unnecessary surgery at the first small sign of possible distress.
- Talk with Your Doctor About Natural Birth
Talk with your doctor about your natural birthing options and, if necessary, get a second opinion from a midwife.
- Stay Home as Long as Possible
During early labor, stay at home as long as possible. Walk around and change positions frequently to maximize comfort and effectiveness. The new modern and sterile way of rushing you through labor and delivery may increase the likelihood that you’ll be induced or coerced into a cesarean section.
A cesarean section is sometimes necessary for the health of the mother and child but not as often as it is suggested. Be sure to educate yourself about all of your options so you can provide the best experience for your growing family.
A Way to Do It Naturally
We all know that it’s generally best to have a natural child birth. After all, it’s been proven to give your child a major head start.
Many doctors will try to push you into drugs and c-sections. However the best way to avoid this is by having a plan going into pregnancy. One great resource I’ve found on this topic is called, “Bump to Birth”.
Now, one quick warning, some of the topics in this book are certainly a little “new age”. You can make your own decisions about this part of the advice. However, the advice about nutrition, breathing, and overall preparation is spot on. This will certainly help better prepare you for delivering your child naturally.
If you or someone you know is interested in delivering their baby naturally I strongly recommend they check out, “Bump to Birth” today.