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Caesarean sections are very popular among Kenyan women today – wrongly so

January 27, 2022 |
Birth

A natural birth is painful and often involves risks for both mother and child. No wonder, then, that more and more pregnant women in Kenya are opting to give birth to their child by caesarean section.

About half of caesareans are planned, the others are spontaneous – and many are unnecessary. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), only 10 to 15 percent of caesarean sections are medically necessary. This is the case, for example, when the heart sounds of the unborn child deteriorate. Or if the pregnant woman has already had a caesarean section and the scar on the uterus threatens to tear during the natural birth.

According to some sources, CS has become a cash cow for Kenyan doctors, who allegedly recommend the procedure when it is absolutely unnecessary. Even so, some women just prefer it because they can afford the cost of the CS section in Kenya, which averages between Sh130,000 and Sh300,000.

According to the Standard Media,

“In the last decade the number of caesarean births in Kenya hit an all-time 14.9 per cent high; well above the 10 per cent recommended as rational by the World Health Organisation.”

However, for fear of the pain and complications of a natural birth, more and more women want a caesarean section even if it is not necessary. Some health professionals that I agree with think that these women are doing themselves and their child a disservice.  I think that the physical and mental consequences of the operations are often underestimated. It takes a woman two to three weeks to recover after a natural birth, and it can take up to eight weeks after a caesarean section. Psychologically, it is not necessarily an advantage to be dependent on outside help in the postpartum phase, when many women tend to have mood swings anyway. This difficult relationship between mother and child is a problem caused by Caesarean section.

With a scar on the abdomen, it is more difficult to hold, rock and breastfeed the baby. In addition, the children who are born via surgery do not release the necessary stress hormones that help them adapt to the environment. In addition, the children who are born via surgery do not release the necessary stress hormones that help them adapt to the environment.

In Birth