Quake Shocks Sichuan
Nation demonstrates progress in dealing with severe disaster
Current Issue
· Table of Contents
· Editor's Desk
· Previous Issues
· Subscribe to Mag
Subscribe Now >>
Expert's View
Market Watch
North American Report
Government Documents
Expat's Eye
Photo Gallery
Reader's Service
Learning with
'Beijing Review'
E-mail us
RSS Feeds
PDF Edition
Reader's Letters
Make Beijing Review your homepage
Hot Links

cheap eyeglasses
Market Avenue

Print Edition> Nation
UPDATED: June 7, 2010 NO. 23 JUNE 10, 2010
Unnatural Birth
Studies reveal that nearly half of China's babies are born through cesarean section and societal factors are a large part of the reason why


GIANT BABY: A 6-kg baby is born through cesarean section in the No.2 Hospital of Shandong University in Jinan City on June 3, 2005 (XINHUA) 

The study revealed that cesarean delivery on maternal request became the leading reason for the operation in recent years. Some of the patients and their families opted for a C-section because they mistakenly believed it would make the baby smarter and do less harm to the mother and baby, the study said. The percentage of C-sections due to elderly primipara, or women aged over 35 who give birth to their first baby, also increased from 0.6 percent to 2.5 percent, the paper said.

Zhu Haiqin, Director of the Obstetrics & Gynecology Department of the No.2 People's Hospital of Dafeng City in east China's Jiangsu Province, recently told the Beijing-based Science and Technology Daily that more than a decade ago many doctors in rural hospitals could not handle C-sections, while now most can. This, to some extent, has increased the C-section rate.

To hospitals, a C-section means significant profits with lower medical risks, Zhu said. A natural birth costs not half as much as a C-section, but usually takes more than 10 hours. Doctors have to be alert all the time during a natural birth, which is exhausting. While a C-section only takes one or two hours, so some doctors opt for a C-section.

Doctors' advice

Even though C-sections have cut down on baby and mother mortality rates, it's an unnecessary procedure that could pose more risks, the WHO report said.

The WHO survey found "increased risk of maternal mortality and severe morbidity" in women who undergo C-section with no medical indication. The increased risk was mainly reflected in the mothers' increased admission to intensive care unit and blood transfusions. The report also said a C-section with no medical indication does not significantly reduce the risk of fetal death compared to natural child birth.

Clinical observations show babies delivered by C-section are more likely to suffer from breathing problems, autism or Attention Deficit Disorder, said Cai Jian, Deputy Director of the No.1 Affiliated Hospital of Sun Yat-sen University in south China's Guangdong Province.

The procedure also costs much more than a vaginal birth. The WHO report said, "when resources are scarce, C-sections that are not medically indicated could, if done in large numbers, represent a serious resource drain."

Measures have been taken in some parts of China to tackle the high C-section rate. In Shandong Province's Weifang City, an expectant mother giving birth at any designated hospital pays the same rate regardless of whether the baby is delivered naturally or through C-section. The People's Daily reported that after the implementation of the policy, the C-section rate dropped from 53 percent to below 30 percent.

Doctors in hospitals, such as the Beijing-based No.1 Hospital Affiliated to the China People's Liberation Army General Hospital, advise expectant mothers not to eat too much fattening food so that they can avoid excessively large babies, and persuade them to deliver naturally.

The health department of Sichuan Province is formulating obstetrics standards, which are going to clearly identify the medical need for a C-section, and request doctors to only perform the procedure when necessary.


   Previous   1   2  

Top Story
-Too Much Money?
-Special Coverage: Economic Shift Underway
-Quake Shocks Sichuan
-Special Coverage: 7.0-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Sichuan
-A New Crop of Farmers
Most Popular
About BEIJINGREVIEW | About beijingreview.com | Rss Feeds | Contact us | Advertising | Subscribe & Service | Make Beijing Review your homepage
Copyright Beijing Review All right reserved