One in every three first-time pregnant women in US is having cesarean delivery, according to a new study.
To arrive at this conclusion, researchers from the Consortium on Safe Labor studied data on cesarean delivery from nearly 229,000 electronic medical records from 19 hospitals throughout the United States.
30.5 percent of all deliveries were done by cesarean section in 2007, they found. Among these 31.2 percent of women underwent cesarean sessions to deliver their first child.
The rate of cesarean delivery went up by more than 50 percent during the decade starting from 1996 to 2007.
“We found that 44 percent of women who attempt vaginal delivery have their labour induced,” stated Dr. Salih Yasin, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, who is also a senior investigator in the institute’s Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research.
In this labour induced group the the rate of cesarian operation was found double, he noted.
According to him, several women are undergoing cesarean sessions at before they try out normal delivery. These avoidable cesarean surgeries do pose many risks for women.
“First, cesarean section is not just having a baby; it is having a baby through major surgery. So there is a chance of bleeding, infections and longer healing and recovery. You end up having many more cases of cesarean-related hysterectomies and transfusion and maternal death,” he said.
“To make a significant impact on the high cesarean delivery rate in the United States, the focus should be preventing unnecessary primary cesarean deliveries from several aspects,” the researchers wrote.
As a first step, the researchers recommend induced deliveries only in emergencies and cesarian should be avoided in cases of problem birth before the start of labor, especially in first time pregnant women.
Even in cases where a woman had an earlier cesarean, vaginal delivery should be encouraged.
“Finally, increasing access to, and patient education on, trial of labor in women with a previous uterine scar and improving the [delivery] success rate are urgently needed,” the researchers said in the report published in the Aug. 30 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.