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Caesarian Sections.

(42 Posts)
Falconbird Thu 26-Feb-15 08:03:55

I think I've spelled that incorrectly - but I've been wondering why C sections are used so much nowadays.

I had three babies during the 70s and C sections were very rare and although I knew a lot of mums during these years I never met anyone who had been given a C Section.

Now you hear about them all the time?

Any Grans know why this is happening?

J52 Thu 26-Feb-15 08:09:57

Both DILs had emergency C sections. One after a long labour - baby in distress. The other, arriving at hospital, was told that both her and baby's hear rates were alarmingly high.

They are both healthy young women carrying no extra weight! x

J52 Thu 26-Feb-15 08:10:23

Sorry ' heart rates' x

Anya Thu 26-Feb-15 08:12:42

My mother was a midwife. There was concerns about the overuse of C-sections even in the 70s, I remember discussing it with her when I was expecting my first baby as I was born by C-section myself in the 40s.

When the procedure became safer there was a tendency to use this rather than risk the life of baby or mother, and perhaps over-use it.

I believe that spinal blocks, which are used more and more these days, can lead to an increase in C-sections too. Then of course there are those who have elective C-sections, some for medical reasons but some for other reasons.

A vaginal delivery is much better for baby where possible and safe.

Mishap Thu 26-Feb-15 09:07:37

It is about balancing risks. At one time it was safer to try and proceed with a difficult labour as the risks of C section were high. Now that those risks are lower, often the C section is safer than a risky vaginal delivery.

annsixty Thu 26-Feb-15 09:10:04

My DiL had all 3 babies by C-section.The first after 36 hours with no progress.The second exactly the same and when the 3rd was due the consultant said they would not even consider trying so it was an elective op.

Falconbird Thu 26-Feb-15 11:05:16

I can see what's happening. Now that a C section is safe it is used far more often.

My DIL had a C section with her first baby but the midwives helped her to have a normal delivery with the second baby. It was a struggle involving forceps but my DIL felt much better and recovered far more quickly.

Back in the 40s my cousin was born facing the wrong way round (don't know the medical term.) The midwife, on her own, managed to deliver the baby and my aunt went on to have 4 more children without complications. What an amazing woman that midwife was.

gettingonabit Thu 26-Feb-15 11:11:18

I had one at age 42. It was an emergency-baby was in distress,and premature. She would have died otherwise.

I hear of lots of women having planned c-sections (not in the "too posh to push" sense), and I wonder if it's something to do with meeting targets/efficiency.

Tegan Thu 26-Feb-15 11:20:49

Back to back I believe [from watching One born Every Minute]. I think C sections were done a lot in America because of litigation [is that the right word?] and, as ever it spread over here. Wonder if, with people eating better and not smoking babies are getting bigger and bigger these days? And, of course, with C sections now being done sooner rather than later we don't know the consequences of waiting a bit longer for a vaginal delivery.

Anya Thu 26-Feb-15 11:56:41

Breech birth is legs first Falcon or there's something called a face presentation where baby is the right way up but facing the wrong way. These both cause problems.

Greenfinch Thu 26-Feb-15 12:16:13

I had a ventouse delivery (vacuum extraction) given because DS1 was transverse.

Mishap Thu 26-Feb-15 12:30:54

I really do think that the crux of the matter is the relative safety in each situation, which is based on a medical assessment.

loopylou Thu 26-Feb-15 16:58:54

As a former midwife 'Too posh to push' was definitely a reason in the late 70's, less so I hope nowadays.
Epidurals are a reason now, as well as when there is foetal distress or dangers to the mother.
I was shocked that my cousin's DIL, after 72 hrs in labour, was refused a CS 'because it costs £750', and ended up with an emergency one after 4 days because at 5' and a size 6 she was never going to push out a 9lb 10oz baby! Her MIL even offered to pay the costs, so distressing was the situation.
The poor lass has vowed never to have another, hardly surprising but very sad.

Anya Thu 26-Feb-15 17:07:24

That's the word I was looking for in my earlier post - epidurals - all I could think of was spine blocks. Thanks loopy.

loopylou Thu 26-Feb-15 18:30:30


absent Thu 26-Feb-15 18:55:46

Indeed C-sections are much safer these days. When it was decided that my mother needed an emergency Caesarean when I was born in 1950, my father was asked if the worst came to the worst, did he want the doctors to try to save my mother's life or mine. I cannot imagine how he felt.

GillT57 Thu 26-Feb-15 18:57:21

Surely the whole decision should be based on the health of the Mother and the Baby. I was fortunate to have two very easy normal deliveries, but there can be some pressure from groups such as NCT, the one I attended made anyone who had a caesarian feel somehow guilty, as if they hadn't had a 'real birth experience' and this prejudice carried on when it came to anyone unable to breastfeed and choosing to bottle feed instead. Quite an uncompromising group of people, lots of talk about planning the perfect birth experience, which of course never goes as planned and women left feeling a bit left out or let down afterwards. I was the maverick of the group; no birth plan for me, my unborn baby hadn't been consulted.

Purpledaffodil Thu 26-Feb-15 20:03:54

i have been assured that some celebs go for a c section and then a "mummy tuck" which gets rid of all that stretched skin so that they can be back in their size 6 jeans very quickly. This may be apocryphal but some post natal pictures in the magazines I see in the hairdressers wink are ridiculously svelte.

granjura Thu 26-Feb-15 20:16:17

Caesarians are real life savers- for some mothers and children. Our first DD was a transversal breech- and there is little doubt we would have both been in serious trouble- if when things turned desperate, we had not had that chance. I had the first Ceasar at the hospital where I was- as I just refused to go under the anaesthetic- and I am so grateful.

But there is no doubt that there is a significant number of Ceasarians which are done for absolutely NO medical reasons. They are certainly NOT totally safe, and many children born by Caesar have more allergies, and all sorts of health issues. There is little evidence that they are safer than normal births for the great majority of women.

loopylou Thu 26-Feb-15 20:19:47

That was my experience of NCT too Gill. I had very quick labours (1st 1hr 45, 2nd 45 minutes which was scary!) but for others where the so-called birth plan didn't come to fruition then they were almost made to feel a failure, which is horrible.
DDIL's experience was similar and out of a group of 8 five had emergency CS and only two successfully breastfed. She said many of them were upset and struggled with the first few weeks of motherhood which is sad. DDIL admits that she wished she had known that breastfeeding isn't the be-all and end-all....

granjura Thu 26-Feb-15 20:27:38

I meant the first Caesar with an epidural!

Tegan Thu 26-Feb-15 20:43:18

Purple; I was told that a few years ago as well, which is why it annoys me that there is so much pressure put on other young mums to look svelte as soon as they've given birth. I was really surprised by the name of one 'celebrity' that did it.

Tegan Thu 26-Feb-15 20:46:12

loopy; that seems to be happening with my DIL's group of pregnant friends as well. Thankfully she is breastfeeding with no [as yet] problems but she didn't get as much help in the hospital to do so, which really annoys me.

GrannyGear Thu 26-Feb-15 21:45:49

Perhaps the current fashion for postponing a family until a woman is in her 40s and established in her career, has a bearing on this. I read that older mothers are more likely to suffer complications in pregnancy and presumably this includes needing a C-section.

pinkprincess Fri 27-Feb-15 01:11:00

Both of my two children were born by emergency ceasarian section in 1969 and 1972.
Both times there were only two of us in the post natal ward who had had sections and we were all emergencies.
All sections were done under GA then and we were opened up with the longitudinal or classical incision which were the main risks to ceasarians then.
I am only 4ft 10ins and (was) a size 6 so now I would be most likely to be a candidate for an elective section.
Myself and my DS1 almost died during the first one. He had gone into transverse lie in labour, had passed meconium and his heart rate dropped.I stopped breathing during the GA and my son was brought out more dead than alive but thankfully we both recovered.
When I got pregnant the second time I was told that I would need an elective section and advised to have the tubal tie done because the consultant told me that I could not be cut open every time I had a baby.
Later on he changed his mind and decided to give me a ''trial of labour''.
Well this failed, after a long time in labour my contractions stopped and there was another mad dash to theatre as they thought my uterus was going to rupture.My DS2 had got his head wedged in my pelvis and they had to ease his head out with forceps after I was cut open.He was also born in a poor condition but was successfully resussitated.
Yes I had my tubes tied during the operation.I was told after this that my pelvis was very narrow-surprise surprise.
I am a retired nurse and had done midwifery training before I had my children and remember that that the C-section rate was very low then.
Electives were only done for conditions like placenta preavia and no one would dream of asking for one like they do now.
Saying that there were some poor mothers and babies who suffered dreadfully with difficult births which now would have been prevented if they had been delivered by section.I never saw any maternal deaths but did remember babies dying or left badly brain damaged by these births.
One of my five grandchildren was born by emergency section.She was a premature baby in the breech position and had become distressed.She is 18 now.
My uncle was a breech birth born at home in 1921.My grandmother said no more babies after him and stuck to her word.My mother's cousin had permanent facial damage caused by her forceps birth in 1920 also at home.Both of these babies would be most likely born by ceasarian now.