Rise in C-section births alarming

Updated 25 April 2016

Rise in C-section births alarming

RIYADH: The rate of babies delivered by Caesarean section in Saudi Arabia is growing alarmingly with the nationwide increase reflecting an upward trend in these cases in recent years.
A cross section of medical experts expressed concerns Saturday over the fact that caesarian delivery cases surged by 67 percent in the country last year.
A similar trend was noticed in the first quarter of 2016 with experts saying that the reasons behind the surge are preventable.
“The main reason is that pregnant women have become lazy; they don’t move and they are not aware of the benefits of walking or exercising during pregnancy,” said Dr. Ahmed Marzouq, a gynecology and obstetrics specialist at the Health Ministry.
He said that women opt for caesarean births due to “laziness”; they do not want to go through the natural birth process. Obesity also plays a major role in childbirth and also contributes to the increase in laziness especially among pregnant women.
According to figures released by the Saudi Diabetes and Endocrinology Society, 70 percent of the Kingdom’s local population is classed as obese.
“All these factors are contributing to the significant increase in the C-section delivery rate in tertiary health care centers,” said Tayyaba L. Al-Harbi, a gynecologist at a local private hospital. Al-Harbi said the importance of exercise should be taught to every prospective mother, especially in a country like Saudi Arabia where physical movement of women is somewhat restricted.
This notion has been further substantiated by a study conducted by the Lancet medical journal, which found that Saudi Arabia’s population is the third most slothful in the world with 68.3 percent of adults failing to do any exercise. “Only in Malta and Swaziland are adults even more inactive than in Saudi Arabia,” said the study, while referring to the need to need to generate awareness about exercise and sports both among men and women.
Similar views were expressed by Layla Abdul Razak, another gynecologist, who said there are health hazards associated with C-section deliveries. “The threat that comes with it should be taken into account since it is medically proven and suggested that it is not suitable for mothers to undergo three or four caesareans because of the complications that come with it.”
Lily Chaerian, an Indian nurse, working at a private hospital for 15 years, said: “Every now and then, deaths are reported during C-sections if the cases are complex.” She said private hospitals have been performing more C-sections than the government hospitals. She, however, noted that the surging trend in caesarian cases is noticed in all Gulf countries, where social and family lifestyles are identical.


Baby Talk: Conditions to be aware of in newborns

If your child’s abdomen feels swollen and hard, you should seek medical advice. (Shutterstock)
Updated 16 January 2020

Baby Talk: Conditions to be aware of in newborns

  • Here are three physical conditions that are especially common in the weeks following birth. If you notice any of the following in your baby, contact your doctor or health center straight away

Abdominal Distension

Most babies’ tummies are normally rounded, especially after a large feed. Between feeds, however, they should feel quite soft and not stick out. If your child’s abdomen feels swollen and hard, or if they have not had a bowel movement for more than one or two days, you should seek medical advice. Most likely the problem is due to wind or constipation, but don’t take chances and seek the advice.

Birth Injuries

Labor is can be a strenuous time for both mum and baby, and it is possible for babies to be injured during birth, especially when babies are very large. While newborns recover quickly from some of these injuries, others may last for some time. Quite often the injury is a collar bone, which will heal quickly if the arm on that side is kept relatively still.  Don’t worry if a small lump forms over the site of the fracture. This is just part of the body’s healing process and is a sign that things are normal.

Labor is can be a strenuous time for both mum and baby, and it is possible for babies to be injured during birth, especially when babies are very large. (Shutterstock)

 Muscle weakness in a newborn baby is a common birth injury, caused during labor. However, muscles, usually weakened on one side of the face or one shoulder or arm, generally return to normal after a few weeks.  During this time it might be wise to ask advice on how to hold your baby to promote healing or at least prevent aggravation.

Blue Baby Syndrome

Babies sometimes have mildly blue hands and feet, but this may not be a cause for concern. Their hands and feet might turn slightly blue due to the cold, but they should return to normal as soon as they are warm. Occasionally, the face, tongue, and lips may turn a little blue when the newborn is crying hard, but once he becomes calm, his color in these parts of the body should quickly return to normal. However, persistently blue skin coloring, especially with breathing difficulties and feeding difficulties, is a sign that the heart or lungs are not operating properly, and the baby is not getting enough oxygen in the blood. Immediate medical attention is essential.