Monday, 22 February 2016

Let more women have C-sections; it is not as dangerous as believed

A report in a local newspaper said some women have C-sections for non-medical reasons. The newspaper even called it a “craze” by “affluent” women. FILE PHOTO


Kenyan women, especially those living in urban areas, prefer Caesarean sections to natural childbirth, according to data from the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF).
Women who are “too posh to push” and are opting for unnatural childbirth to escape pain and keep their vaginas honeymoon fresh. A report in a local newspaper said these women have C-sections for non-medical reasons. The newspaper even called it a “craze” by “affluent” women.
These women should be warned of the dangers of C-sections, it seems. The story repeated the party line that C-sections should be done only when recommended by a doctor for medical reasons, and even then, as a last resort.

In Summary

  • The numbers in Kenya show that nine per cent of children are delivered via caesarean section, according to the latest demographic and health survey.
  • This problem makes human females need a lot more help during childbirth than our primate cousins.
  • The new C-section rates are good because they mean that the long and hard discussion of why we spend more money on security than healthcare will have to be had sooner rather than later.
The numbers in Kenya show that nine per cent of children are delivered via caesarean section, according to the latest demographic and health survey. This is below the World Health Organization recommended figure of 10-15 per cent. So despite these articles meant to cause alarm, we are still below WHO recommendations.
There is also a simple hedonistic principle as humans we should pursue. Pain is bad and should be avoided.
It is, therefore, right that we sympathise with, and support, mums who choose delivery by a quick, “safe” and relatively painless surgical procedure.
There is a reason I say “safe”. For two days I looked for cases of caesareans locally that went wrong. There were very few. Instead of concrete examples of women in Kenya who died from the surgical procedure, we are met with warnings of what might happen.
So if we do not even have anecdotes, let alone data, on the many thousands of dead from C-sections, why would medical professionals slam C-sections when, clearly, it is safer than the alternative? Some people think that a C-section is the easy way out. There is no easy way out when it comes to childbirth.
CHILDBIRTH
That is why we hear senseless statements like “too posh to push”. Someone should tell those using this term that it is called “labour” because it is hard work.
The origins of this particular sort of sadism are probably religious: women were cursed to experience pain during childbirth, according to Abrahamic religions.  They then work backwards from their prejudice. You hear a lot of attendant nonsense – that natural delivery will help you bond with your baby (carrying it for nine months is not enough of a bond?) nonsense about orgasms during childbirth (72 hours of labour is too long to wait for an orgasm)or that you will get a scar, or in the future you will not be able to give birth vaginally (not true, and also why would you want to, really?).
Add to this the fact that you have failed as woman because you had a C-section.
We know the reason childbirth is so problematic. Natural childbirth is horrible because our bodies are very poorly designed.
There were two conflicting trends in our evolution: our brains got bigger as we started walking upright, thus you have the fact that the female pelvis kept narrowing as human craniums grew larger. The lab coats call it the obstetrical dilemma. This problem makes human females need a lot more help during childbirth than our primate cousins.
Humans are more likely to die during childbirth than other apes.
There were times in our country when woman getting pregnant would have been advised to draw up a will because of natural childbirth.
Remember when the UN Population Fund was pointing out that our maternal mortality rates had not reduced in the two decades since 1990? Too many women still die in childbirth and it is unfortunate to discourage them from using a safer alternative. 
SAFE PROCEDURE
Women in Kenya are dying during childbirth at rates that suggest our middle-income status is a sham.
Many are scarred through incontinence, fistula while others are labelled “posh” for choosing C-sections.
Compared to natural childbirth, a caesarean birth offers better survival odds.
In Western countries where large numbers of women have C-sections, the maternal mortality rates have gone down.
It is in the developing world, with its natural child birth, where women die by the truckload.
The only logical objection I can think of to a C-section is that it might affect the child’s immune system.
Children born naturally are introduced to different types of bacteria that help boost their immune systems and reduce chances of disease like asthma.
Children born through C-sections miss out on this.
Well, the answer is simple. Children born through C-section should be swabbed with microbes from their mother’s vaginas in a procedure called microbial transfer.
A scientific paper released earlier this month in Nature Journal indicated that microbial transfer could help prepare babies’ immune system for the outside world.
Until empirical data showing that C-sections are riskier than natural childbirth, we are left with one objection: expense. 
NHIF will strain under the weight of more women electing to have caesareans. 
A C-section now costs three times as much as a natural birth, and more women are choosing to have one.
POPULAR ALTERNATIVE
The numbers don’t really matter, NHIF was going to go broke, anyway, even with the old rates for C-sections.
Claims have been growing for the past seven years and are gobbling an ever larger percentage of the contributions.
NHIF was going to have to raise rates, or slash its astronomically wasteful administration rates.
More than 40 per cent of NHIF contributions go towards “administrative costs”,   which is kleptomaniacal.
Before complaining that too many women want C-sections, the fund should tell us how a medical insurance fund gets away with spending 40 per cent of the contributions it receives on office paperwork.
The new C-section rates are good because they mean that the long and hard discussion of why we spend more money on security than healthcare will have to be had sooner rather than later.
It will also force the NHIF to be more honest about how it spends our money.
C-sections have become more common in Kenya; this can only be a good thing.
SOURCE!! DAILYNATION
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