Childbirth or delivery is a procedure that ends at the gestation or pregnancy period. The procedure results with the birth of a newborn infant from a woman’s uterus. Normally delivery of a baby happens through the vagina. However, if there are any complications involved, a surgical procedure called C-section or cesarean birth is done. A cesarean section is an operation to deliver a baby by making a cut in the front wall of a woman’s abdomen and womb. However, the worldwide trend to deliver by cesarean continues to rise. Cesarean surgeries have an impact on the health of both mother and baby, both short- and long-term.
In cesarean procedure one will probably feel pain in her wound and discomfort in her tummy for a few weeks after the operation, while her body heals. Before a women go into surgery, she’ll have a single dose of antibiotics, to reduce the risk of infection. Despite this, it’s common for women to have an infection after a caesarean. There are three main types of infection: Infection of the incision site with the following signs: redness and discharge from the wound, increasing pain and dehiscence of the incision wound. This complication occurs in one of ten women, even if they were given antibiotics preoperatively. The risk is higher if the patient suffers from diabetes or is overweight. Inflammation of the inner tissues of the uterus: The risk is increased if the amniotic liquid “breaks” before the onset of the labor, or if a vaginal examination was performed several times before the cesarean section. Urinary tract infection occurs during the operation, the mother’s bladder is being drained through a catheter that may cause inflammation. In this case, urination becomes painful, difficult and is accompanied by a burning sensation. Any surgery raises chances of developing a blood clot, and this can be serious, depending on where the clot lodges. If the clot lodges in lungs (pulmonary embolism), it can even be life-threatening. Most caesareans are carried out with an epidural or a spinal to numb tummy, as it’s safer than having a general anesthetic. But having any anesthetic involves a small risk. After an epidural, one may have a severe headache. Nerve damage rarely happens, and usually only lasts for a few days or weeks.
Risks for the baby include: premature birth when the delivery date is not accurately calculated. According to a recent study, c-section babies may not have the same beneficial bacteria at birth as babies delivered naturally. This may cause immune related troubles to develop later in life. Babies born by c-section are more likely to develop breathing problems, asthma and allergies later in life’s-section is known to raise a child’s risk of diabetes by 20 percent.
Babies born naturally are usually born when they are ready. Babies born by vaginal birth have considerable lower risk of respiratory problems. The passage through the birth canal stimulates the baby’s cardiovascular system, which boosts blood circulation and primes the baby for birth. Babies born vaginally receive protective bacteria as they pass through the birth canal. These bacteria colonies in the intestine are crucial for developing a balanced immune system, from childhood right through to adulthood. During a natural, vaginal birth baby’s benefit from hormonal surges in catecholamine’s during labor, which results in them being more alert and able to connect with their mothers at birth. Similarly, endorphins, nature’s ‘feel-good’ hormones, which are secreted during an unmediated childbirth, have been found in the placenta and umbilical cord. These hormones may help the baby adjust to life outside the womb as well as make the birth passage more comfortable for baby. A European study in 2008 found that babies born vaginally had a 20% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes than babies born surgically. If the vaginal birth was drug-free, the baby will not experience any side-effects of medication administered during the process. Newborns are less likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit if delivered vaginally.
Thus, normal delivery is the most natural way of bringing baby into world. Though there might be certain circumstances in a woman’s life, which make it unavoidable for women to opt for a cesarean delivery. So, be prudent, women should consult well with her doctor before she choose the right method for delivering her bundle of joy.
Akhi Alamgir, a student of East West University, Bangladesh. She is completing her graduation under department of Pharmacy. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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