Caesarean operations can carry a high risk as every one in ten women especially those who are obese or diabetic develop an infection after the procedure,a new study has claimed.
Researchers from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and Imperial College London found that C-section results in infections for one in ten women with many needing to stay longer in hospital for treatment.
Not only are these complications distressing for the mother,researchers warned,they also disrupt her ability to care for her baby.
The researchers studied 4,107 women who had undergone the operation in 14 National Health Service(NHS)trusts between April and September 2009.
They found that 394 or 9.6 per cent of the women developed an infection.
Obese women or those with diabetes were more likely to suffer from infections after a C-section,it was found.
Although most caesarean section wound infections are not serious,they do represent a substantial burden to the health system,given the high number of women undergoing this type of surgery, Dr Catherine Wloch,from HPA said.
Minor infections can still result in pain and discomfort for the woman and may spread to affect deeper tissues. The more serious infections will require extended hospital stays or readmission to hospital, Wloch added.
Last year the NHS relaxed its guidelines to allow women to have planned C-sections if they are particularly anxious about giving birth naturally.
Previously they were only meant to have the operation when it was medically justified.
There’s a tendency to think that caesareans are completely safe but we’re talking about major surgery. They should only be used when there is a risk of harm to mother or baby with a normal delivery, Gail Johnson from Royal College of Midwives,said.
It impacts a woman’s overall recovery and it may also impact on future pregnancies, Johnson added.
The study was published in Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.