Y.S. RANA, CHANDIGARH—More and more pregnant women in the region prefer to go under the knife instead of waiting for a normal delivery, if the data provided by the National Family Health Survey-4 conducted in 2015-16 is of any indication. The number of babies born through the c-Section in the region comprising Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh went up in the past 10 years. The trend has caught up in private health facilities but has taken a dip in case of public hospitals.
Despite the recommended cap on the caesarean, the number of such delivery on the rise. According to NFHS-4 survey on average almost 16.7 per cent of women in Himachal Pradesh prefer to go for C-section delivery compared to 12.6 per cent as per NFHS-3 which was conducted in 2005-06. It is also revealed that urban women prefer going under knife compared to rural women. The percentage of caesarean deliveries conducted in private health facilities was 44.4 compared to 16.4 per cent c-section delivery was carried out in public hospitals. Dr Anandi of Himachal Health Services said that the rate of C-sections was an indicator of the improved quality of health care in public hospitals in the state in general and of obstetric care in particular.
While in Punjab birth by caesarean was 24.6 per cent as per NFHS-4 survey which was 16.5 per cent in NFHS-3. Almost 39.7 per cent deliveries were carried out in private hospitals in the state against 17.8 per cent c-section deliveries were conducted in government hospitals, states NFHS-4 survey. On the other, the state has registered 34.3 per cent deliveries were conducted in private hospitals (NFHS-3) against 31.5 per cent delivery was carried out in public hospitals.
Haryana and Chandigarh also did not present rosy picture on the matter. Haryana has recorded 11.7 per cent caesarean deliveries (NFHS-4) compared to 5.3 per cent in NFHS-3. The percentage of caesarean delivery carried out in private hospitals was 25.3 per cent while only 8.6 per cent delivery was conducted in government hospitals. As per NFHS-4 survey in Chandigarh 22.6 per cent births were conducted by caesarean. Of these, around 44 per cent deliveries were carried out in private hospitals and 20.5 per cent in government hospitals.
The survey also reveals that on average almost 45 per cent of urban Indian women prefer to go private hospital for caesarean delivery. On the other this percentage in public hospitals across the country is 20 per cent. While talking to a gynecologist at a government hospital here who did not wish to be named said that the number was high for private hospitals because of compulsions and parents wanting the child to be born on s specific date. But she added that caesarean delivery has more complications to the baby as well as to the mother.
She further stated that for the past decade, the region has witnessed an increase of over 40 per cent in pregnancy among women between the age group of 35-39 years and over 60 per cent women have babies between the age group of 40-44 years. “Weight increase among women main factory for c-section delivery. Heavier women are likely to have bigger babies and in order to protect overly large babies from traumatic normal delivery, caesarean delivery is preferred,” she said.
Studies show that 52 per cent of maternal deaths are due to anesthesia-related complications in elective caesareans. “A first-birth by caesarean has a 30 per cent chance of causing placental disruption in a later pregnancy. It is also known to be a potential short and long term risks for new born—injury during birth; breathing and breast feeding problems; risk of admission to neonatal ICIU. Birth by caesarean can have also long term health issues like asthma, allergies; diabetes etc. Mother can have pelvic pain, bowel obstruction, infertility and chances of another caesarean delivery.
State C-section delivery (NFHS-4) C-Section delivery(NFHS-3)
Himachal Pradesh 16.7% 12.6%
Haryana 11.7% 5.3%
Punjab 24.6% 16.5%
Chandigarh 22.6% —