In a recent Mothering Magazine article, the writer shares the following risks of C Section, which often are undisclosed to women when being told they need one.
1. A woman is five to seven times more likely to die from a cesarean delivery than from a vaginal delivery.
2. A woman having a repeat C-section is twice as likely to die during delivery.
3. Twice as many women require rehospitalization after a C-section than after a vaginal birth.
4. Having a C-section means higher rates of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and potentially severe placental problems in future pregnancies.
5. Babies born after an elective cesarean delivery (i.e., when labor has not yet begun) are four times more likely to develop persistent pulmonary hypertension, a potentially life-threatening condition.
6. Between one and two babies of every hundred delivered by C-section will be accidentally cut during the surgery.
7. The US is tied for second-to-last place with Hungary, Malta, Poland, and Slovakia for neonatal mortality in the industrialized world.
8. Babies born via C-section are at high risk for not receiving the benefits of breastfeeding.
9. The risk of death to a newborn delivered by C-section to a low-risk woman is 1.77 deaths to 1,000 live births. The risk of death to a newborn delivered vaginally to a low-risk woman is only 0.62 per 1,000 live births.
See full article here.
Another finding that greatly disturbed me since it affected me personally is that women are more likely to experience ectopic pregnancies or spontaneous abortions in subsequent pregnancies after a C Section. Women who previously had a C-section are more likely to have a stillborn child in subsequent pregnancies.
That finidng cuts me to the quick because I was born a C-Section baby (not medically necessary, breech presentation) and my mother's next pregnancy, my little brother, ended in a stillbirth. I don't feel guilt, persay, for being a C-section baby. Its not my fault that the US maternity care system in 1984 (and now) doesn't know how to birth breech babies, and it wasn't my fault that my mother wasn't more informed. But I feel hurt and in some way that my birth was tarnished and my only sibling lost because of something that involved me. Learning that finding brought the grief of knowing that I had a little brother and lost him back into my mind and more painful now that I know what having a child is all about.
I grieve for my mother all over again that she had to deal with the recovery from major abdominal surgery while adjusting to life with a newborn and then two years later face depression and grief when her second child died before being born.
I feel empathy for those women who regret the C-sections they've had or who had one and didn't want it, because those women shoulder the guilt, anger and sometimes trauma of that experience which is then compounded when their next birth and pregnancy does not yield a healthy baby.
They don't tell you that these things can happen (and more frequently do) when offering the consent form and schedulign for a C-section. Imagine what the C-section rate would be in this country if they did.