Caesarean births risk mums' lives

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A study of more than 100,000 births showed mums-to-be who had a caesarean section when there was no medical need were 2.7 times more likely to have complications than those who gave birth naturally.

... mothers should only have a C-section for medical reasons, according to the authors of the World Health Organisation study.

Women who chose a caesarean over a natural birth were 10 times more likely to be admitted to intensive care and suffer severe bleeding.

... "I do get women who ask for a C-section, often because they've got a pathological fear of childbirth, fears of pelvic floor problems in later life or have been sexually abused earlier in life, so they choose to have a C-section to avoid any genital tract trauma which would remind them of what's happened."

Dr Kliman said Epworth Freemasons had about 20 mother-requested caesareans out of 3500 deliveries a year.

"I tell them it is not necessarily an easy way out," he said.

"They have risk of haemorrhage, infection and more discomfort after the procedure."

Vice-president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Michael Permezel, said ..."If a woman said, 'I want a C-section' and had no understanding of the risks, I think most doctors may decline the request," Prof Permezel said.

"If she's having her first baby later in life and perhaps planning to have one more, then the pros and cons are pretty even, but if it's a younger woman planning a relatively large family then certainly the recommendation would be for a vaginal birth if possible because of the risks associated with each subsequent pregnancy ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448