Cesarean Sections May Lead To Long-Term Health Problems For Some

First Posted: Apr 10, 2015 11:02 PM EDT

Previous studies have shown that Cesarean sections are oftentimes extensive and more costly medical procedures that are unnecessary and can take a much longer time to heal than the normal birthing process, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Now, new findings provided by the health organization stress that they could also lead to long term health issues.

"These conclusions highlight the value of Cesarean section in saving the lives of mothers and newborns," said Dr. Marleen Temmerman, Director of WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research, in a statement. "They also illustrate how important it is to ensure a Cesarean section is provided to the women in need - and to not just focus on achieving any specific rate."

The WHO even issued a release that discouraged the medical birthing procedure unless there was severe fetal distress, prolonged labor or the future child was in an abnormal position.

A c-section is not a cut and dry procedure. Previous findings show that it can overburden weak health systems. Now health officials are recommending a more standardized and internationally accepted way to classify how it's used throughout the world so as not to harm the mother and future baby's health.

"Information gathered in a standardized, uniform and reproducible way is critical for health care facilities as they seek to optimize the use of Cesarean section and assess and improve the quality of care," Temmerman added. "We urge the healthcare community and decision-makers to reflect on these conclusions and put them into practice at the earliest opportunity."

As of 2013, 33 percent of U.S. babies were born via C-section. However, the WHO notes that the ideal percentage should be 10 to 15 percent per country.

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