by Christo Lues
So, what is wrong with getting a c-section?
This section is NOT applicable to lifesaving absolute emergency c-sections, this section is about elective or otherwise considered, unnecessary c-sections.
When asked of side effects of a c-section, the gynaecologist will have to think really hard to conjure up any side effects. In his mind there is simply no side effects, apart from a little discomfort by the mother - but for that there is ‘medication’.
If we take a closer look there seems to be more than meets the eye at first.
As a start, consider the fact that c-section is not a small procedure, but rather a MAJOR surgical procedure!
Doctors create an incision to deliver your baby by C-section. This incision takes up to six weeks to heal. It's also prone to infections. Contact your doctor if you notice pus around the incision, or if you develop a sudden fever. Because many of your strong tummy muscles are cut through, it is very painful and you may have difficulty holding your baby in the correct position, making mothering and more importantly, breastfeeding challenging or impossible. You would generally not be able to drive for six weeks after your operation, as the muscles repair.
A further complication from the operation is the cut through the uterus wall. Although it heals perfectly in healthy woman (like a broken arm would) most doctors won’t “allow” you to have a Vaginal Birth After Cesarian (VBAC). The reason, they argue, is that because it was once cut, it’s not strong enough to withstand contractions of a next birth. It’s like saying you are not allowed to pick up something heavy with an arm after it was broken (and now healed) Statistics in this regard indicate the opposite. Studies have shown that uterine rupture is more prevalent amongst first time mothers than mothers that has already had a previous c-section. But the point is, if you had a c-Section, and you do want a normal birth afterwards, you enter a serious battle zone. Secondly, from here on your doctor will decide FOR you how many children you will have - it will not be your decision anymore. So depending on how well your womb has healed, in the doctors opinion, he will decide on how many more future c-sections he will ‘allow’.
When the mother is sedated for the c-section, various complications can arise. Because of the pain from the c-section wound the mother needs pain medication after the operation. This leads to the strong drugs like Pethedine or Morphine getting into the baby via the breast milk. Studies have shown a link between the use of these drugs and kidney, liver and heart failure in newborns and the ingestion of Morphine. Everything that you as a mother ingests ends up in the breast milk and thus in your baby. Are you comfortable giving schedule 6 & 7 drugs to your newborn? Also keep in mind, that your baby is likely to have neonatal jaundice because of either being born too early or if a lot of bruising occurred during the birth - the liver normally deals with this. If you take the drugs mentioned, it also needs to be broken down in the already taxed liver of the newborn.
Even for infants born full-term, a little more time in the womb may matter.
The extra time results in more brain development, and a study suggests perhaps better scores on academic tests, too.
Full-term is generally between 37 weeks and 41 weeks; newborns born before 37 weeks are called premature and are known to face increased chances for health and developmental problems. The children in the study were all full-term, and the vast majority did fine on third-grade math and reading tests.
The differences were small, but the study found that more kids born at 37 or 38 weeks did poorly than did kids born even a week or two later.
The researchers and other experts said the results suggest that the definition of prematurity should be reconsidered.
The findings also raise questions about hastening childbirth by scheduling cesarean deliveries for convenience - because women are tired of being pregnant or doctors are busy - rather than for medical reasons, the researchers say. More...
So then developmental problems are associated with pre-term babies. Most gynecologists will NOT allow a mother to go full term, as they will run the ‘risk’ of going into spontaneous labour. Remember that the doctor wants to avoid this natural process in 80% of the cases.
Can you see the relationship between the masses of youngsters on Ritalin for learning disabilities and the rate of c-sections, yet?
Then because the mother is partially or fully sedated by the epidural or the general anesthetic after the operation, while she is being closed up and on her way to the recovery room, the baby is separated from the mother.
The very important initial skin to skin contact is lost and the initial immediate latching on the breast of the mother is lost.
The baby is force fead some sugar water or formula milk and stored in a noisy impersonal incubator, for later retrieval. Talk about a brutal welcome to the world!
When the baby is reunited with the mother, she may struggle to recognize the mother and have difficulty latching onto the breast of the mother. The success of breastfeeding all depends on how quickly baby can be on the breast after birth. Within the first 30 minutes baby’s sucking is strongest and weakens from there on. After an hour you have almost lost it. On top of that the body will naturally increase the production of Oxytocin, the breastfeeding hormones, around 40-41 weeks, which ensures that everything is ready for breastfeeding. When the mother receives a C-section, either because she was induced (because her own hormonal levels were not high enough yet or baby was not ready to be born to start natural contractions) and the induction fails, or because of a scheduled c-section, the hormones for breastfeeding are also not at the maximum levels. Add to that the first thing that was shoved down baby’s mouth was a rubber teat and the drugs the Mother took with the C-section, which also sedates baby and it is no surprise that 95% of all young mothers struggle to breastfeed their babies! If the mother is not guided correctly by a midwife or breastfeeding expert (usually not a sister or doctor) the breastfeeding may be a road of torment or will be abandoned for formula milk. The mother and baby miss out on yet another wonderful natural, heathy bonding gift.
If the mother does succeed with breastfeeding, the nurse will tell the mother to breastfeed for 5 minutes on every breast and that baby has then had enough. If baby is not picking up weight or is constantly hungry, a formula will be advised, as the mother’s milk is ‘not strong enough’. If baby cries, shove a dummy in the mouth, a nasty habit that will be difficult to kick and may result in changing the shape of the baby’s mouth, resulting in orthodontic problems in puberty. This is all completely wrong!!
Rather breastfeed on ONE breast until it is completely empty for about a two hour duration, using the breast as a natural pacifier for the baby. With the next feeding give baby the other full breast. This will result in the one breast getting a resting and recovering time and will help to avoid sore nipples. Also when one breast is completely emptied, baby will get the fore milk (watery to quench the thirst) and the strong after milk to feed baby and make her grow healthy. Read more on breastfeeding on Linnie’s BLOG
Intestinal health of baby
Increased Risk of Disease in Baby.
California Watch reports that there is some indication that a C-section birth increases a baby's chances of developing asthma, allergies or Type 1 diabetes, probably because it is not exposed to the good bacteria in the mother's vagina.
When the baby is born via the normal vaginal birth canal, natural bacteria that lives in the vagina is ingested by the baby. When the bacteria reach the baby’s intestines, the seed is planted for colonizing the baby’s own strands of healthy bacteria in the intestine, resulting in a healthy strong immune system. Full colonization is estimated at around six weeks. It is further estimated that up to 80% of the body’s immune system resides in the gut.
This is of not the case when a baby is born via c-section. Ever noticed that everything is sterile in an operating theatre? Well, this means that the baby missed out on the bacterial meal it was supposed to ingest on the way into the world. The gut is thus not colonized as designed, and the immune system is compromised. The gut of a c-section baby can take six months or longer to colonize with the correct bacteria, and some times never, where a supplemental probiotic needs to be administered.
In most cases parents decides to sow seeds of disease into their children’s bodies by way of vaccinations. I will not elaborate on the dangers of vaccinations here, as this is not the scope of this article. I have covered it extensively elsewhere. Suffice to say that it has the ability to bring extreme harm to the little body. Because the gut was not colonized properly at birth this means that the gut lining is not formed properly. Introducing the toxins contained in the vaccines, further damages the gut and it’s permeability. This may result in strange health issues, like reflux, eczema, glue ear, severe constipation, diarrhea, colic, cramps, sinus or reoccurring respiratory tract infections. No doctor I know of will ever relay these back to the c-section birth, rather an arsenal of drugs will follow for these diseases of ‘unknown origin’.
To aid the recovery of your baby’s gut you can give ABC Dophilus by Solgar.
Although any woman can fall depressed after the birth of a child, it seems to be more prevalent under mothers that had a recent c-section. The mother did not expect to have a c-section, feels cheated or inferior because she was unable to give birth naturally, giving rise to feeling down and depressed. The reason on both accounts are that the mother’s body is depleted or lacking in essential building blocks for the hormones needed to veer off depression in a new, unfamiliar, stressful stage of taking care of a helpless human being. What could however make it more prevalent in c-section mothers is that during the different birthing stages, various hormones are secreted by the mother’s body to help her body adapt for the birth, in particular the hormone oxytocin. In a c-section this never happens, because the Mother and baby’s body didn’t release enough ‘birth’ hormones and depression may result afterwards.
Breastfeeding stimulates the secretion of oxytocin. Oxytocin is also called the ‘love’ or ‘motherly’ hormone. As discussed earlier with breastfeeding, there may not be enough Oxytocin and a lack thereof may be implicated as one of the causes in the onset of postpartum depression. This would naturally be worsened if the mother does not breastfeed, or due to what we mentioned above, struggles to breastfeed.
Breastfeeding the baby straight after birth results in the release of the hormone oxytocin. This makes the uterus contract. In fact the mother will experience ‘contraction’ pains for days after the birth of the baby due to the oxytocin release during breastfeeding and this helps the uterus contract back to its pre-conception size. Again, if breastfeeding is not successful the young mother may bleed excessively after the birth. Because the uterus was cut, this is even more painful.
These are only some of the reasons we think c-sections are not great!
If you would like to read about more pros and cons of c-sections go here...
If you would like to read about more pros and cons of c-sections go here...
In Part 4, I will talk about: “What if complications DO arise, what to do?”