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Women complain about cesarean sections
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 19 - 01 - 2011

JEDDAH: A number of women have complained about doctors increasingly telling them to have their babies through cesarean sections, known as C-sections. Many feel that doctors want to make more money and that there could possibly be dangerous complications from the surgical procedure.
Hadeel Abdul-Aziz, a 31-year-old mother, decided to have her third baby in the natural manner at a public hospital after being advised to have a C-section by a number of private hospitals.
“When my doctor told me that my hips were too narrow to deliver a baby naturally I was shocked. I have two boys. The youngest one is three years old now. They were both delivered naturally so how could a major change take place in my body after two pregnancies?” asked Abdul-Aziz.
Abdul-Aziz is among a growing number of Saudi women who are complaining about being told that they cannot deliver naturally, without being told about the complications they may have to face after this operation.
“There are many reasons for having cesarean sections and they can be divided into social, medical and obstetric factors,” said Dr. Rawiya Al-Mihdar, a gynecology and obstetrics physician at Al-Aziziya Maternity Hospital. Some small private hospitals prefer to carry out the cesarean sections because they can charge the patient more, added Al-Mihdar.
According to statistics, the average cesarean section costs SR8,000 as opposed to SR4,000 for a natural birth. There are several complications that can arise from the procedure, said Al-Mihdar.
However, she added that sometimes C-sections are required, particularly in cases where there is tightness around a mother's hips, or the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby, making it too dangerous to have natural birth.
Wedad Al-Shareef is another woman who is not totally convinced that she had to have a cesarean section. She is a 37-year-old mother of three who was told that having birth naturally could endanger her life.
Others mothers have had C-sections out of necessity.
“I had my first two babies normally, my third birth had to be cesarean because apparently my uterus muscles were weak and could not stand another natural delivery,” she said. Dr. Hanadi Mohammed, a gynecologist from the Jeddah Maternity Hospital, said that there are other social factors behind the dramatic increase in the numbers of C-sections, including mothers who fear pain and others who do not want their bodies to be disfigured.
“Ten years ago Saudi Arabia used to have only five to six percent C-section deliveries but now the number is more than 20 percent which is a dramatic increase,” she said.
Studies show that C-sections have a number of risks, including excessive blood loss, scarring, injury to internal organs, infections, anesthesia complications, blood clots, decreased bowel function, and postpartum depression.

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