By Tabish Khan
Woman opting for cesarean sections is skyrocketing in Kashmir and there is every reason that we all should be worried about the phenomenon. Having a C-section might seem easier and safer way to give birth but doctor’s claim the ‘short cut’ parents and doctors are opting for, comes with a price – babies are prone to asthma, obesity, and allergies.
In 2016 -2017 at Kashmir largest maternity hospital, Lal Ded Srinagar, about 68-70 percent deliveries were through caesarean section and at GB Pant Hospital in Srinagar, rate was 76%.
This high prevalence of births through surgical procedures has resulted in a number of health disorders among new born including asthma, obesity and prone to allergies and type 1 diabetes when they get older.
Dr. Mushtaq, Pediatrician said that “In JK, the incidence of asthma among children is much higher than other states, corresponding to the higher incidence of CS here.”
Mushtaq claimed that the CS is responsible for a number of health issues, including, allergies of various types. There is higher incidence of ‘obesity, asthma and other allergies and anoxic birth trauma (decreased oxygen in blood at the time of birth) in babies delivered through the surgical procedure’.
“When a child is born through the natural course, baby goes through a process that strengthens his or her immune system. A child born by the CS is deprived of this process.” Dr. Masrat, Gynecologist told INS.
Explaining the process Masrat said that babies born through CS ‘are more likely to become fat as they miss out on exposure to bacteria in birth canal (mothers vagina) which may ultimately change body’s metabolic rate. This bacteria is later establishes itself in a newborns gut which improves future health.’
“Nowadays people prefer private clinics, where C-Section is routine process. Another disadvantage of C-Section is pre mature birth of baby (i.e usually 35 days and normal is 39-45 days). After which parents start over feeding to these premature babies, which lead to long term consequences. Besides this in private clinics doctors won’t be present 24 hours, everything is preplanned they don’t wait for labor pain,” she said.
A recent study published in Science Advances, by Maria Dominguez Bello at New York gives more evidence to the link between obesity and Caesarean. Research shows how caesarean section stops infants picking up, from their mothers vaginas and perineum’s, bacteria that would normally establish themselves in newborn’s gut, and by doing so improve its future health.
The incidence of the CS is higher in JK private hospitals as compared to government hospitals. As per the recently released, National Family Health Survey (4) data, three out of every four deliveries in private hospitals across Jammu and Kashmir are carried out by the CS raising concerns about “alarmingly high” incidence of surgical births.
As per this report the CS constitute 75.5 percent of all deliveries carried in private hospitals in JK, while as in the government hospitals the percentage of births through the CS is only 35.
A latest survey by government of India has revealed that 33.1 percent births in J&K take place through caesarean section (CS).
“I am unable to understand why is everyone opting for short cuts both parents as well as doctors want to finish their work fast through C-Section without considering its impacts on new born,” Dr Mushtaq laments.
Various doctors INS talked to also reveal that the the decision of delivering baby through C-section is not only taken by doctors and they should not be blamed for ‘everything’.
“Patients just want to avoid the pain during labour, and at times patients’ families don’t want to wait for natural processes. If we reject they switch to private clinics,” a doctor wishing not to be named said.