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'C-sections twice as risky'

Caesarean births twice as risky as natural deliveries, report The Independent and The Daily Mail.

Caesarean births twice as risky as natural deliveries, report The Independent and The Daily Mail.

The Source: Dr Jose Villar, former director of maternal health at the WHO, now senior research fellow at Oxford University, randomly selected data from 97,000 deliveries across 8 different Latin American countries and found that Caesareans increase risk to both mother and child.

In a study printed in the BMJ online, Dr Villar found Caesarean babies who lay head first in the womb had a 70% death rate before hospital discharge, but found the technique actually improved the safety of babies who lay in the breach position. He said the report showed women must not be ‘too posh to push' because Caesareans led to longer hospital stays, increased readmission rates and heightened the risk to subsequent pregnancies.

Expert view: In a rapid response to the article online, Dr David Hutchon, consultant obstetrician at Darlington Memorial Hopsital said: ‘Villar et al have provided further evidence that caesarean delivery is not without risk, and we must carefully balance the risk of interfering with physiology. They confirm the work of others showing the higher risk of respiratory problems for elective caesarean section before the onset of labour. Elective caesarean section interferes with all the physiological processes of labour and delivery and it is the absence of these physiological processes which seem likely to be the underlying cause of the neonatal morbidity.'

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