Of course you’ve heard of the latest health fad, that of city women increasingly preferring Caesarean Section over natural birth.
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Not long ago, The Nairobian carried the tragic story of a woman who died while undergoing the surgical procedure, not for any medical reasons, but to keep her safe from complications – and arguably the pain – of vaginal birth. This is just one among a few cases that come to the fore: many others remain obscured.
How dangerous is a C-Section?
“Just like any other invasive procedure, anything is always possible,” Dr Stephen Mutiso, a gynaecologist at Kenyatta National Hospital states. “Before any medical practitioner recommends the procedure for a patient, they must have assessed her to ascertain that there is considerable danger if natural birth was to take its own course.”
It is not always that every pregnant woman makes a good candidate for C-Section. In those few instances, Dr Mutiso says that factors such as pregnancy history of the candidate, size of the baby, blood pressure history and complications at time of actual birth will be the guiding principles.
“Usually, in medical practice, surgery or any other invasive means are employed as last resorts in treatment. Before doctors perform surgical procedures, we evaluate its suitability; ensuring that there is no other possible non-invasive method of treatment that will yield the desired results,” the medic points out.
Ideally, Dr Mutiso says that health factors and history of patients should be the baseline to determine Caesarean Section. According to him, it wouldn’t be right that women demand for the procedure so as to avoid the pain of childbirth.
While the demand for CS is on the rise, it has emerged that normal birth is safer. “CS has more complications compared to normal birth. Recovery after normal birth takes two or so weeks. If CS is performed, it will require at least a month before total healing – of the womb and the wound – is realised,” says Dr Stephen.
Is CS money mill for some private practitioners?
Well, the good doctor doubts it. However, he says that CS pays more since there are many tools and expertise involved. Many babies, he says, are alive today because of CS.
“It would be wrong and unethical if a doctor uses CS as a money-minting venture. The procedure is however relatively safe and in most occasions saves mother and the newborn,” Dr Mutiso says adding that it is only recommended to protect mother and child against foreseeable dangers.