Experts weigh in on risks of elected C-sections

YUMA, Ariz. – Many mothers who are pregnant for the first time face the question whether or not they will deliver their child vaginally or through a cesarean section.

For some expectant mothers, they often elect to go under the knife to avoid temporary pain.

“Sometimes they just don’t want to go through a vaginal delivery. Sometimes they want just the fashion. Some patients are worried about what could happen for them down the road if they had vaginal deliveries,” said Dr. Nader Haddad, chairman of OB-GYN Department at Yuma Regional Medical Center (YRMC).

A trend even celebrities have admitted to. Scheduling their babies birth between red carpet appearances.

According to consumer reports the C-section is the most common surgery in the U.S. at 1.3 million procedures.

Experts say electing for surgery isn’t always the safest for first-time mothers.

“Once a patient has a C-section there’s a big chance she will always have a C-section and having multiple C-section that will come with it’s own set of risks that has to do with the placenta risks of bleeding in the subsequent pregnancies,” said Haddad.

Risks many hospitals are taking notice of even stopping the trend of allowing patients to elect for C-sections.

“We do not deliver any one electively less than 39-weeks gestation whether that be by induction or a cesarean section,” Director of Labor Delivery Recovery Postpartum Dorie Rush said.

Thanks to that new protocol she says the YRMC now has one of the lowest C-section rates for first-time mothers in the nation.

“Our rate is only 12 percent (for first-time mothers) which is top five in the nation,” said Rush.

That’s less than half of Arizona’s rate. While electing for a C-section comes with a higher risk, sometimes it’s necessary.

Haddad says if the baby is breech or having complications, a C-section could be the best and only option. For mothers fearing their doctors decision to do an unnecessary C-section, there are ways to make sure it’s the right choice.

“They can call and consult with another doctor, call American College of OB-GYN website,” said Haddad.

Researchers estimate nearly half of C-sections performed in the U.S. are done when babies could have been delivered safely vaginally. Besides the risks, vaginal deliveries are also less expensive than C- sections, saving mothers around $3,000.

“Vaginal deliveries go home in a day unless there’s a problem with the baby. Our cesarean sections goes home in two days,” Medical Director Women’s Clinical Service Dr. James Vining.

In the meantime, doctors say it’s best to stay educated about becoming a new mother.

“She can prepare herself for the labor in process she can take child birth education classes have a good supportive spouse or significant other or family member,” said Vining.

About The Author

Denelle Confair graduated with her Bachelors from Arizona State University Walter Cronkite School of Broadcast and Mass Communication. She got her first on air reporter job for the NBC affiliate in Montana. After her time there she reported for the NBC affiliate in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. In Texas she covered multiple stories on the Gulf Cartel and immigration. Now she says she's glad to be back in her home state of Arizona. In her free time she enjoys hiking and writing. For story ideas you can email her at or find her on Facebook.

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