Dr. Amala Lovetto Nazareth, Secretary General of the Emirates Medical Association and Specialist Obstetrician & Gynecologist at the Prime Healthcare Group Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Delivery of babies through C-section or Caesarean surgery has become a global epidemic, a leading doctor has warned.

Speaking to XPRESS on the sidelines of the three-day International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) Congress which began in Dubai on April 11, Dr. Amala Nazareth, secretary general of the Emirates Medical Association, member FIGO and specialist obstetrician and gynaecologist at the Prime Healthcare Group, said the alarming trend was a result of a number of medical and legal factors, besides corporatisation of food, lack of awareness and poor lifestyles.

Critical issue

According to the Dubai Statistic Centre (DSC), 41.2 per cent of births that take place in the UAE happen through C-Section compared with 53.8 per cent of vaginal deliveries. Global figures also show the number of C-sections has risen by 28 per cent, with Turkey reporting the highest C-Section rate of 50.4 per cent.

“This is a very critical issue FIGO is addressing. Thanks to corporatisation and genetic engineering of food, nutrition is no longer what it used to be and babies that are delivered today are of a larger size, making normal deliveries difficult. Obstetrics is a dying art for fear of legal implications. As much as €941 million was spent in the UK between 2012 and 2015 to reach out-of-court settlements for obstetric complications.”

She said, “Obstetrics is all about the right decision-making. According to the law of nature, a baby’s head has to pass through the vaginal canal for the brain to be sufficiently stimulated. But because deliveries are increasingly done through C-Section, we are seeing a lot of problems, including perinatal morbidity and respiratory distress syndrome. Studies have also linked them to autism, intraventricular hemorrhage, future neurological and psychological issues.”

Dr Nazareth said poor lifestyles are also a major cause of concern. “We need to create greater awareness about in-utero parenting and teach pregnant women to eat right and stay in the right frame of mind so the baby too can be healthy. “When a poorly nourished, emotionally and physically stressed out mother with issues like hypertension, gestational diabetes or thyroid issues ends up in labour, the baby she delivers will also have concerns. Wellness is the only way to prevent illness.”