Sunday, September 27, 2009

CDC finds cesarean section triples newborn deaths

In a recent Associated Content Article, CDC Says Cesarean Triples Neonatal Death Risk, Misha Safranski reports on a sadly expected outcome to a large study about the risks of cesarean section surgery for the babies it is supposed to save.

The study was well-designed (of course, this is the CDC!) and only looked comparable low risk pregnancies that resulted in either cesarean section or vaginal delivery.

Even more astounding than the simple fact that cesarean section raises the risk of infant death - regardless of the reason the cesarean was performed - is that even when the researchers adjusted for sociodemographic, medical and congenital factors, and removed infants with APGARs under 4, the risk of death was only reduced "moderately". A stark difference in the death rates between cesarean born infants and vaginally born infants remained even with no medical explanation.

Compare a triple death rate for cesarean section with home birth, which has been shown to be equally safe to hospital birth, and one has to wonder when the state of Illinois will license certified professional midwives to help women across the entire state access safe care for home birth. If women can choose surgery which puts her infant as such greater risk, why can't women hire certified professional midwives for a safer choice?

Bear in mind that this article doesn't even address the drastically increased risks for second, third or high order cesarean sections.