Deliveries through Caesarean section double in five years in Chennai


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Deliveries through Caesarean section double in five years in Chennai

The percentage of deliveries through Caesarean section has more than doubled in Chennai over the past five years. At least one in every three women in the city now opts for a C-section instead of normal childbirth.

Doctors quote a variety of reasons including lifestyle-related diseases, late deliveries, an increase in the number of women opting for artificial insemination and a desire to deliver at the most auspicious moment. One of the most common reasons, however, is that women do not want to go through labour and the pain of childbirth.

According to a private hospital in the city, the number of C-sections has increased by 25% in the past two years. Government and corporation hospitals recorded an increase, with 16.10% choosing the procedure in 2007-2008 and 37.45% in 2011-2012, according to records with the Chennai Corporation.

However, there has not been a corresponding decline in the infant mortality rate. Between 2007 and 2012, the infant mortality rate actually increased from 8.1% to 8.2%.

Obsterician-gynecologist Dr Jayashree Gajaraj says a health complication during pregnancy — such as high blood pressure and diabetes — is the primary reason for pregnant women choosing to undergo a C-section or being advised to opt for the procedure by their doctors.

Women today lead a sedentary lifestyle and usually have unhealthy diets, she says. "They postpone pregnancy for the sake of career and work often causes stress and high blood pressure," Dr Gajaraj says. "Many women have diabetes at a young age or during pregnancy. In such cases, a C-section is inevitable."

Doctors report that women often request for a C-section because they don't want to suffer labour pain. "We tell them about options like epidurals, which relieve pain during labour," Dr Wahida Suresh of Apollo Hospitals, where nearly 40% of deliveries are C-section. "But many women insist on C-sections."

Doctors advise pregnant women to have normal deliveries because of the health benefits, including faster recovery time and the likelihood of a normal second delivery.

But C-section fertility experts like Dr Priya Selvaraj say C-section is a safe option. "Earlier a woman with complications was advised not to have children. Now we say have children, we can help," says obstetrician-gyneacologist Dr Geetha Haripriya of Prashanth Fertility Clinic.

At times a C-section is done when the baby's heart beat fluctuates and the delivery is prolonged. "A baby's brain cells could get affected permanently if it suffers a shortage of oxygen during labour," Dr Haripriya she said.
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