On Friday the World Health Organization (WHO) said that mother should resort to Cesarean section to give birth only if it is required by the medical condition.
According to the global health guidelines the perfect rate of cesarean deliveries should be between 10 to 15 percent. The reason to this is the fact that the surgery may expose both mothers and their babies to short –term and even long-term health problems. In 2013 33% of the US babies came to life via Cesarean section. The procedures are in most cases performed when a natural deliveries encounters complications such as the abnormal position of the baby or prolonged. However the number of pre-planned C-sections is increasing.
Dr. Marleen Temmerman, director of Department of Reproductive Health and Research (WHO), explained that the findings of the study draw attention to the impact which Cesarean section has on the lives of mothers and children. She also added that it is important to provide Cesarean section only for women who really need and not for the sake of achieving a particular rate.
A cesarean section is not a cut and dry operation. The surgery can cause serious complications, disability and even death, especially when doctors lack the facilities needed to perform a safe procedure and treat the possible complications.
The impacts of C-section rates on maternal and infant outcomes such as birth asphyxia and stillbirths are not known. In addition, more research should be conducted on the effect C-section has on women’s social and psychological well-being.
Cesarean sections are costly. Therefore the high rates of such unnecessary surgeries can take resources away from other services. Previous research has proved that C-section can overburden weak health systems.
Health officials urge a more standardized and internationally acknowledged way to classify how Cesarean section is used all over the world in order to protect the mother and the newborn child’s health. Temmerman remarked:
“Information gathered in a standardized, uniform and reproducible way is critical for health care facilities as they seek to optimize the use of Cesarean section and assess and improve the quality of care. We urge the healthcare community and decision-makers to reflect on these conclusions and put them into practice at the earliest opportunity.”