Move to reduce elective C-sections

March 6, 2012 2:49:32 PM PST
In our fast paced lives, even expectant mothers might like to speed things up a bit, and have their babies just a little early, by C-section. But that may bring about trouble for the new born.

Several studies have shown that these operations, called elective C-sections create as many problems for the baby as they solve for the mother. The critical time seems to be 39 weeks of development. There's a move now to reduce elective C-sections before that time.

Dana Accardo, who had a C-section at Englewood Hospital's Mother and Baby Unit Monday to deliver baby Rocco, had it because of labor that was not progressing.

Some women also decide to have a C-section early, before the 39th week, but in their cases it is because they're uncomfortable or for convenience. It's called an elective C-section, but it can put the baby at risk.

Having a baby a week or two early means a couple weeks of development that didn't happen.

That means more feeding problems, breathing difficulties, and ICU stays.

So, doctors and patients at Englewood Hospital, for one, were given the facts and an education program on the dangers of C-sections before week 39.

Problems of early delivery can extend into later life, because vital organs such as the brain, lungs and liver are still developing right before birth.

Babies may be smaller and may be unable to suck, swallow or stay awake long enough to eat well. Hearing and vision problems can happen too.

Remember that a problem during pregnancy may require an early C-section for the health of mom and baby.