Cesarean delivery associated with higher risk of severe complications for mothers 35 and older, study shows

(Kelly Grant/ Globe and Mail) — Women who deliver their babies by cesarean section are nearly twice as likely as those who deliver vaginally to suffer severe complications, according to a new study that comes as Canada’s c-section rate continues to climb.

For mothers 35 and older, the odds of a serious short-term problem – such as major bleeding or a blood clot in the lung – are nearly three times higher if they undergo a c-section than if they give birth vaginally, French researchers found.

“Women have to know this,” said Catherine Deneux-Tharaux, a senior researcher at INSERM, the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, and one of the authors of the new study. “It’s not to say that you have to avoid cesarean sections, because in many situations it can save the life of the baby or the mother … but it’s not as safe as vaginal delivery.”

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, examined the cases of 1,444 women across France who experienced a grievous complication after giving birth and compared them to a control group of 3,464 women whose deliveries went smoothly. (…)

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