WHO: Too Many Caesarean Sections

Waiting a little longer can help you avoid Caesarean Section, a surgical procedure in delivery of one or more than one babies. Caesarean section is often necessary when a vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that Caesarean section be performed only when medically necessary. Some C-sections are performed without a medical reason, upon request by someone, usually the mother. More than 45 countries globally have C-section rates less than 7.5% while more than 50 have rates greater than 27%.

Since the 1950s, a woman progressing through labour at a rate slower than one centimetre of cervical dilation per hour has been considered “abnormal”, Olufemi Oladapo, a medical officer with the World Health Organization’s department of reproductive health, told reporters in Geneva

It is indeed very depressing mothers going into hospital during early labour, only to find their contractions have slowed down or completely stopped. Ending normal daily activity and going into the hospital too early removes a great deal of useful distractions that can help pass time while labour gets going.

When doctors and other care providers confront labour moving slower than that rate, “the tendency is to act”, either with a caesarean section or with the use of drugs like oxytocin that speed up labour, leading to the “increased medicalisation” of childbirth, he said.

“The recommendation that we are making now is that the line should not be used to identify women at risk of adverse outcome,” he added.

“Pregnancy is not a disease and child birth are a normal phenomenon, where you expect the woman to be able to accomplish that on her own without interventions,” Oladapo said.

WHO while expressing its concern over the increase in CS globally, has set new guidelines for women delivering their first child, says, any labour that does not extend beyond 12 hours should be considered normal.(NAN)

Many at times bed rest, changing positions, exercise by walking around and lots of fluid intake can provide little help during prolonged labour.


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