Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Midwives report a 32.2% cesarean rate in Switzerland

I haven't been able to locate the official national data to confirm the data in this December 4th news story, but according to the report, the Swiss Midwives Association are calling for "more controls... to counter the rising number of caesarean births".

The Association advises that "Doctors should only recommend a caesarean for medical reasons, as the operation confers more risk than a normal birth and has an impact on the health of the baby and the mother". It says: "Twice as many children born by caesarean are transferred to intensive care with breathing problems, compared with naturally born babies." And: "Twice as many mothers also have to return to hospital for treatment after a caesarean and many have problems breastfeeding... They are also more likely to have serious complications in later pregnancies."

Of course anyone who's read my blog or website will know that the NICU transfer risk for babies is largely associated with premature or emergency cesarean deliveries - not deliveries at 39 gestational weeks. Similarly, the complications cited above for the mother are more greatly associated with emergency surgery and/or pre-existing medical conditions that led to a planned cesarean.

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