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Doctors promote natural births
(Shanghai Daily)
Updated: 2005-12-23 10:58

Zhang Li expects to give birth in May, but she is worried about the delivery methodí¬a natural birth or a surgical Caesarean section.

However, obstetric experts warned pregnant women to choose a suitable method and not to blindly choose a Caesarean section. In that method, there is no labor and the fetus is surgically removed. It causes less pain to the mother and many say less trauma to the infant.

More than half of infants in the city are born through Caesareans, as many women fear pain, problems during delivery and difficulty in regaining shapely figures. Exercise can restore the figure.

"I prefer a surgery, which is convenient and less painful," Zhang said.

Doctors said surgery is a special solution for risky pregnancies and deliveriesí¬only for women with serious conditions or complicated diseases or high blood pressure.

In the 1980s, only 10 percent of women opted for the surgery. It rose to 29.5 percent in the 1990s and 51.86 percent last year.

"There are misunderstandings about natural delivery. It is much safer and also better for women's recovery and for children's respiratory systems and intelligence growth after being squeezed in the vagina," said Chen Daning from Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital.

"Though medical technology has improved, Caesarean surgery is still riskier."

Twenty years ago, the Western medical community faced a problem similar to that of Chinese obstetricians today. Only 20 percent of overseas women choose Caesarean sections after learning the surgical disadvantages.

Chen's hospital provides prenatal lectures to pregnant women to give them proper information and help them choose an appropriate delivery method.

"If the women and fetus are healthy, we recommend natural delivery," she said. About 40 percent of women at her hospital received Caesarean sections.

Further, extra nutrition to the child these days also contributes to the increase in Caesarean surgery; many pregnant women eat too much and many fetuses are too big to pass easily through the birth canal.

The World Health Organization says that a newborn's ideal weight is around 3,000 grams. However, more than 35 percent of city newborns are over 3,500 grams.



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