Every third child is born by Caesarean section

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Sudden rise in cesarean births

More and more women choose to have a Caesarean section when their child is born. Although studies have already shown that childbirth is sometimes associated with considerable risks, many women opt for abdominal surgery, even if there is no medical need. Caesarean section is transfigured by many expectant mothers as a "pleasant alternative to natural childbirth".

Significant regional differences in the caesarean section rate
Three out of ten infants in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern are born through preterm delivery. According to the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), the rate was still 17 percent 12 years ago. According to evaluations by the Federal Statistical Office, today it is almost 25 percent.

It is striking that there are clear differences across Germany. The proportion of surgical births is highest in Saarland at 38 percent and lowest in Saxony at 23.2 percent. The national average is about 32 percent. The Caesarean section rate has increased by about ten percent in the last ten years.

Often without medical indication
The clear differences make it clear that a high proportion of Caesarean section births are not performed on the basis of medical indications. Women often express fears of childbirth pain or subsequent health risks. In addition, so-called "predictable births" are becoming increasingly fashionable because many women are pursuing a professional career in addition to their mother role. Other parents want their child to be born on a special day. For example, a study by the Techniker Checkout showed that on November 11, 2011 about twice as many Caesarean sections were performed than on average on other days.

Another suspicion that arises is the financial aspects of the clinics. Because for a maternity delivery, the hospitals can bill more money at the checkout. However, this suspicion has not yet been clearly proven.

Indeed, one aspect is medical. But these too have skyrocketed in recent years. The average age of mothers at first birth is getting higher, babies are getting heavier, and the number of twin births is increasing rapidly due to artificial insemination. These are all reasons why doctors also recommend a birth.

According to the health scientist Petra Kolip from Bielefeld University, the percentage for actual medical reasons is only ten percent. In addition, women who have already had a caesarean delivery are advised to have a birth also at the next birth. Because in such cases, most gynecologists generally recommend repetition. It may be that scars burst during the birth process and pose an acute risk to the child and mother. However, such complications are extremely rare. "Even if a caesarean section was necessary in the case of a previous pregnancy, a woman can naturally give birth in the event of another pregnancy." Doctors recommend repeated cesarean sections if the uterus could tear due to previous operations, for example a longitudinal section of an earlier cesarean section or if fibroids were removed over a large area. Even if the same complications occur before birth as for the first birth, doctors advise a new birth. For this reason, the German Society for Gynecology recommends trying a vaginal birth despite a previous caesarean section.

Sometimes serious consequences for mother and child
Many women know little about the consequences of a caesarean section. It is due to medical progress that complications occur less and less, but many side effects only appear much later. Kolip therefore criticizes that doctors often provide insufficient information, which is why many parents believe that a caesarean section is preferable to a vaginal birth.

In addition to wound pain, there is an increased risk of thrombosis or pulmonary embolism even during normal birth. A caesarean section increases this risk many times over.

Recently, studies have shown that caesarean section can also have significant disadvantages for children. Data analyzes showed that caesarean children are at increased risk of developing type 1 diabetes, asthma, allergies and wheat intolerance later on. (sb)

Read on:
Regional differences in Caesarean section births
Every third baby is born by caesarean section
Cesarean section or natural birth?
Caesarean section increases the risk of being overweight
Every third child is born by Caesarean section

Image: JMG / pixelio.de

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