Why Cesarean Section Delivery Rate is Growing in India

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Cesarean Section Delivery Process

No matter a normal delivery or a cesarean section! Giving birth is an incredible experience! For a woman, it’s not just the joy of getting a new one in the world but also the contentment of crossing the “rite of passage” from a woman to a mother. And, moreover a chance to create everlasting memories while getting to enjoy each and every stage of maternity and child-care. All of this is a combined memorable journey in itself. Maybe, why a pregnant mom patiently awaits the prolonged nine months, feeling and enjoying every little flutter and movement inside of her, seeing her body change, her thinking change, overlooking her pains, aches, her well-being, and her own health conditions.

Though all the mothers undergoing the delivery process are brave-hearts, the ones who endure cesarean section births certainly have a lot to see and tell. Often in our country, cesarean moms are said to have given up, looked down upon as cowards or are said to have chosen an easy way. Well, a cesarean section birth isn’t as easy as it sounds. As badass as it sounds, a mom agrees to get her body cut just to meet her new-born, fights the war like a warrior, and forever embraces her scar as a victory sign.

Well, I am a cesarean-delivery mom and I just want to say that – be it a normal or a cesarean delivery, a birth process is amazing, no matter how it happens!

What is a cesarean section birth?

Terminologically speaking, a cesarean section (C-section) is a surgical procedure wherein; incisions are made into the stomach and the uterus to bring out the baby. It can be planned if there are complications during the pregnancy or in an emergency if they arise during the childbirth.

cesarean section

In older times, it was regarded as “big operation”. Moms-to-be are always curious that which is more painful a c-section or a normal delivery. These days c-section is “the easy way out”. Whatever called, this is a surgical process and should be done only if medically suggested or selectively chosen by the mom. Having said that, it’s still so common these days that every second mom I meet has gone under the knife.

It’s Risky
One must know that cesarean deliveries are often associated with a greater risk of death to the mother than having a normal delivery. And since there are so many known and unknown cesarean delivery side effects associated with it, the common procedure followed by doctors is that these all are discussed prior with the to-be parents before they have to make a decision about the delivery. There are risks to not just the mother but to the baby as well. As much as pre-delivery care is required, post-surgery care is long and crucial too. Many guides on precautions after c-section delivery are issued by doctors and health experts. This fact should be taught to not just the new mothers but to their caretakers as well. The only thing moms can do is read and research well. Books, doctors, apps, websites, friends, family, sources are endless and it’s better to know what they are likely to go through under cesarean section birth.

Let’s talk numbers
Statistically speaking, there are many states in our country where cesarean births are at a whopping rate of 47%. While WHO (World Health Organization) recommended that the rate is required to be under 12%. Is it even anywhere near to the reality? In 2010, cesarean section births in our country were on an average of around 10%, well within the limit. And now, it has increased enormously to around 20%, which is higher than what WHO recommends. Roughly talking, there are around 4-5 women out of 10 who undergo this procedure and try to find out ways that how to recover from c-section quickly.

But the most important question is, why are cesarean section deliveries in our country so common these days?

There are many reasons for increased C-section rates. Let me list a few:

 Genuine medical issues

These days, giving birth to a healthy baby without any medical complications is a big feat in itself. With the help of advanced research and studies, we are able to diagnose many medical issues and look for their solutions too. But still few issues in pregnancy do result in cesarean deliveries. A few common reasons are:

  • If labor isn’t progressing or birth canal is small and the baby is big
  • Breech babies or baby is in some abnormal position
  • Foetal abnormalities or illness
  • Mother carrying more than two babies
  • Preeclampsia (high blood pressure)
  • Problem with umbilical cord or irregular heartbeat of the baby
  • Baby not receiving sufficient Oxygen
  • Mother suffering from placental insufficiency
  • Any other major complication to mother or baby

Under these circumstances, cesarean birthing is a viable option.

Money game

Medicine was a noble profession once. Now more than nobility, it houses shrewdness and duplicitousness. The cost of c-section delivery in India is an expensive affair. The cost of cesarean section differs from hospital to hospital. Usually, in government hospitals, the cost ranges between Rs 3000 and Rs 25,000. Whereas in private hospitals, it could go from Rs 40,000 to more than Rs 1.5 lakh.” And with money involved, malpractices come to play. Many times, hospitals and doctors push for cesarean to get more money from the patient or to complete their target. Especially the lucrative private hospitals, who are money-greedy as well as scalpel-friendly. Well, a deadly combination. Isn’t it?

A few virtuous doctors, however, say that there ought to be an audit of deliveries done through C-sections, in private as well as in public health facilities. This is to ensure that economics do not influence the doctor’s and a hospital’s decision to conduct a C-section delivery. I hope the government can implement such a procedure; moreover, doctors need to be working in the interest of their patients rather than their schedule or wallets.

 Lifestyle

Many times, it’s not anyone else’s fault but ours and our lifestyle choices are to be blamed. With so many things constantly changing, so have our living ways. Nowadays, Moms-to-be are less active, hypertensive, obese, stressed and generally suffer from blood sugar, blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid. All of them increase the chances of a cesarean delivery.

Well, the scientific fact is that a woman is more likely to have a normal delivery if she continues to exercise and involve in physical activities especially related to the abdomen. In earlier days, women had a lifestyle with intense physical work, but it’s no longer the case.

If you can’t use the age-old tried and tested tip of using hand atta chakki, why not to try the new methods like squats, pregnancy yoga, Lamaze, pregnancy swimming or even regular walks.

Right to choose (Elective cesarean)

In India, moms have the right to choose to do cesarean birth, this is called an elective/planned cesarean. There are many reasons for moms to do so. It can be one or all of the followed:

  • They have some medical complication, for which the doctor has already advised doing a cesarean section delivery.
  • The mom isn’t ready to undergo the normal delivery process and is scared of the idea of labor pains. She can choose elective cesarean as her birth plan.
  • Despite being medically induced, if labor doesn’t progress, doctors or patients decide to take the surgical route.
  • Urban rich families often choose to spend and endure cesarean deliveries.
  • Many couples want their babies to be born on a fixed date at a fixed time for auspicious reasons. Weird but true!

Who is at blame?

Long story short, it’s everyone’s fault. Be it anyone or any reason- hospitals, caretakers, family, lifestyle habits, the mother herself and the society at large. The doctors, patients, and policymakers are all responsible for being money-minded and their actions resulting in a steep increase in unnecessary and costly procedures. The government, for not able to control this money-minting business and audit such unnecessary procedures. The family members, for not being supportive or taking necessary steps to ensure carrying mother’s well-being. The society, for not helping or educating the unaware to-be mother and yet putting a burden of superfluous expectations on the family. Or, giving useless tips and ideas to a pregnant lady following which she ends up on the cesarean section. And last, the mother, for not being able to take care of herself in her pregnancy stage and not being well-informed about her pregnancy.

Ladies, let’s vow to help each other as much as possible and try to bring down this exaggerated rate of cesarean section deliveries in our country. Mothers, help a newbie mother around you! As anxious as she may be, your experience can help her soothe. Would be mothers, don’t let anyone misguide you, do read well, know your options and choose well!
After all, birthing is not just about making babies. Birth is about making mothers-strong, competent, capable women who trust themselves and know their inner strengths.

Shruti Dave

Shruti Dave

Author at Aaj Ki Naari
As a defence wife and a mother of a demanding 4-year-old, I lead a nomadic life full of varied adventures and experiences. To tell my tales, I find writing the best way. With Aaj Ki Naari, I get the wind under my wings to pursue my love and passion for writing with a purpose.
Shruti Dave
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Shruti Dave

Shruti Dave

As a defence wife and a mother of a demanding 4-year-old, I lead a nomadic life full of varied adventures and experiences. To tell my tales, I find writing the best way. With Aaj Ki Naari, I get the wind under my wings to pursue my love and passion for writing with a purpose.