The Impact of Current Trends in Cesarean Section

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This article explores the current increase in cesarean sections. Reported reasons for the increase include: technological advances of ultrasound and fetal monitoring; an increasing reluctance to using forceps, fear of litigation, societal change towards joint decision-making, and increased maternal age with fewer pregnancies. The risks with a single cesarean section are an increase in post-delivery pain; however, the risks become considerable in future pregnancies both for the mother and for the fetus. In future pregnancies there are known increases in placental issues, weakness in scar integrity, reduced fertility, and an increased chance of premature birth, stillbirth, and infant respiratory distress both at birth and long term. Implications for childbirth educators are discussed.