WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) — Leading medical journal, the Lancet, published an article reading the rate of C-section deliveries has risen from six percent in 1990 to 21-percent worldwide. The U.S. is even higher at 32-percent.
“In the state of Iowa, the range is anywhere from 20-percent to 45-percent,” said Dr. Balil Kaaki, an OB/GYN for Unity Point Health Allen Hospital in Waterloo.
There are two options when planning the birth of your child: vaginal or C-section.
Dr. Kaaki said some mothers have no choice but to have a C-section for medical reasons. However, some opt for a c-section because they fear the pain of childbirth or want to plan their delivery. He said they should first consider the risks.
“It’s a major surgery so the risk of anesthesia, complications of the wound, so infection, Endometritis so infection in the lining of the uterus,” he said.
He said talking to mothers about birthing options is important and said C-sections should really only be used when absolutely necessary, such as when the birth is endangering the life of the mother or the baby.
“If you weigh the benefits, advantages and disadvantages, there are more risks to do an elective Caesarian raither than a trial of labor,” he said.
It was once commonly thought if you had a C-section delivery, you would have to delivery by C-section for all subsequent births. Dr. Kaaki said the advancements in techniques have made that thinking obsolete.
“Typically we offer what we call VBAC, which is vaginal birth after Caesarian. After having one low-transverse Caesarian we council the patient about trying vaginal delivery,” Dr. Kaaki said.
Dr. Kaaki said the VBAC procedure has a high rate of success for mothers who meet certain criteria. He said if the reason for the C-section delivery was because the baby was in the breech or transverse position, there is no cause for concern. However, if there were complications in a prior labor that warranted an emergency C-section, a VBAC would likely not be an option.
He said while Iowa’s rate is in lock step with the national rate, Allen Hospital only delivers about 9 percent by C-section. This accounts for roughly 100 births of the 1,000-1,200 they do every year.
Other issues may also warrant a C-section such as the age of the mother.