The increasing rate of unnecessary C-sections in recent years has raised concerns about the potential risks they pose to both mothers and infants. C-sections can be a life-saving procedure when medically necessary. However, the overuse of this surgery can lead to significant harm.
It is important that health care providers and expectant mothers recognize the risks associated with unnecessary C-sections so they can make educated decisions about delivery and care.
Risks to mothers
USA Today reports that women who have C-sections are 80% more likely to experience complications than mothers who have traditional births. Unnecessary C-sections expose mothers to surgical risks like infection, blood clots and adverse reactions to anesthesia. Additionally, the recovery process for a C-section is typically longer and more painful, requiring extended hospital stays and interfering with bonding with the newborn.
Unnecessary C-sections may also have long-term health consequences for mothers. They increase the chances of uterine scarring, which can lead to future fertility issues and complications in subsequent pregnancies. This scarring can also increase the likelihood of placental problems.
Risks to infants
C-sections that take place without a valid medical reason can result in premature births. Babies born before their due dates are at risk of health complications, including respiratory distress syndrome, jaundice and developmental delays. Premature birth can also affect the infant’s long-term health and development.
Newborns delivered via C-section are also at an increased risk of experiencing breathing difficulties. They may not have the benefit of the natural squeezing motion of the birth canal that helps expel fluids from their lungs.
The rise of unnecessary C-sections highlights the importance of doctors only performing them when medically necessary.