The UAE has one of the highest rates of C-sections in the world 42% of total childbirths here are C-sections, compared to the global average of 15%
5 August 2018| Last updated on 6 August 2018
Many women in the UAE decide to have C-sections even when it's not medically necessary, for a myriad of different reasons.
For example, some women opt for C-section delivery because they have a specific health condition, or because of certain long term complications that might arise from natural birth. But, are the potential complications associated with natural birth really that serious? Read this article by leading insurance broker Pacific Prime Dubai to find out.
Natural childbirth and its possible complications
Provided that the pregnancy is healthy, natural birth is the safest way to deliver a baby.
However, due to fear of developing long term, inconvenient conditions such as urinary and fecal incontinence, and temporary/chronic pelvic pain, a growing number of women are opting for C-sections instead.
Some women also fear the requirement of additional procedures, such as shoulder dystocia (i.e. a procedure that breaks the child's clavicle in order to get them out), or an episiotomy to widen the vaginal opening to aid in delivery.
Other long term complications of vaginal childbirth may include persistent perineal or vulvar pain, and pelvic organ prolapse, which might develop with a higher possibility in mothers that are obese or smokers.
These natural childbirth complications might sound scary, but they are treatable and are in most cases less severe than complications that may arise from C-sections.
When might a woman need to have a C-section?
A Cesarean section is an operational delivery - a child is born as a result of a surgical incision to the abdominal wall and uterus. Most obstetricians agree that this is a serious operation and no one should treat it as a more comfortable delivery option. However, in some cases, a Caesarean section is a safer way for a child to leave the womb.
Medically necessary reasons to have a C-section:
- Incorrect position of the child - i.e., other than the head first that may hurt the fetus or prolong and complicate the delivery.
- Placenta praevia - a situation where the bearing is located at the mouth of the cervix, blocking it. The child has a blocked path in the birth canal and must be extracted by surgery.
- Multiple or twin pregnancies - It can happen that after the birth of the first child, the second baby is positioned so incorrectly that it is difficult to deliver him/her normally; therefore a C-section is required.
- High blood pressure or heart disease - if the mother has a health condition like high blood pressure or heart disease, normal delivery may be too physically taxing for them.
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD) - describes the situation where the child is too large, and the mother's pelvis is too narrow to deliver them naturally.
- The mother has HIV or genital herpes infection - vaginal childbirth then creates a higher risk of transmitting the virus from mother to child.
The above are the main reasons why women should opt for a Cesarean section. All of these conditions directly threaten the life of the child and mother, and it is generally recommended that c-sections should be only executed when it is medically necessary.
An elective or planned C-section is performed upon the mother's request for non-medical reasons.
A woman may choose to have a C-section because she has experienced vaginal delivery with complications, or had a C-section previously. Women who are obese or have pregnancy-related diabetes are more likely to request a C-section, too.
Planned C-sections also allow you to choose the date of your child's birth between week 38 and 39, meaning you and the rest of your family can prepare for the newborn's arrival in advance. However, if a woman is eligible to have a vaginal delivery, then there are no real advantages to having a C-section, other than removing the pain or avoiding potential vaginal delivery complications.
Potential C-section complications
C-sections nowadays are considered safe, but they are a major surgery after all.
Cesarean sections are more likely to lead to complications vis-a-vis vaginal childbirth. Some of the complications may include: severe bleeding, scarring, infections, reactions to anesthesia, longer-lasting pain, the need to spend more days at the hospital, and in rare cases, injury to the bowel, bladder and uterus, which will require the mother to be admitted into intensive care or have an emergency operation to remove the womb (hysterectomy).
Insurance has impact, too
The choice of childbirth type should be made based on what’s best for the mother's and baby’s health, not personal beliefs or insurance cost.
Since the mandatory maternity plan might not cover in full specific birth complications, families prefer to obtain a private comprehensive plans and push for planned C-sections that have smaller chances of causing any long-term complications. That’s why it is so important to buy comprehensive maternity insurance and make a decision on childbirth based on what’s best for the baby and mother, not out of fear of medical bills that may follow if any complication arises.
Choose the right maternity plan
Before securing maternity coverage, it's important to be aware of all childbirth risks and familiarize yourself with the available insurance policies. To find out more about maternity plans in Dubai, contact Pacific Prime Dubai's insurance advisors for a free chat and quote. You will be able to ask any questions and be confident that their experienced team will help you choose the plan you really need.