World Health Organization (WHO) has come out with a new report which states that women are being pushed into unnecessary C-section i.e. caesarean births. The report states that women are not given enough time to give birth.
The WHO has warned of ‘increasing medicalisation’ of childbirth leads to unnecessary interventions and has become allegedly ‘rampant’ in many nations.
The cause for this is that the guidelines dating back to the 1950s suggest that a normal birth should be expected to progress at set pace of approximately 1 cm of dilation every hour, making doctors think that women are taking too long to give birth.
However, new and abundant evidence suggests that this guideline is inaccurate and childbirth often takes longer time.
The WHO said that women are rushed into having procedures which aren’t necessary in all cases since doctors and midwives thought labour was taking ‘too long’. Caesarean sections increase the risk of obesity and asthma in a baby.
Dr. Olufemi Oladapo, WHO’s medical officer from the department of reproductive health said, “What has been happening over the last two decades is that we are having more and more interventions being applied unnecessarily to women.” She further added that procedures like C-sections use a drug called oxytocin to speed up labour.
To tackle this, the UN agency has issued new guidelines wherein the threshold would be 5 cms of dilation during the first 12 hours and 10 hours in subsequent labours.
This doesn’t mean that caesarean sections are not necessary; however, they should not rise beyond 15% in any country.