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Stats reveal worrying health trends; DAILY POST OUR VIEW.

OUR in-depth report on the soaring number of Caesarean sections being carried out in North Wales raises several worrying issues.

Firstly, why is it happening? Are women too posh to push these days - or simply too fat? Perhaps a bit of both. Some make a lifestyle choice to have a Caesarean, possibly unaware of what a big operation it is and how long it will take them to recover - while at the same time having to look after a new-born baby.

But our investigation reveals that growing obesity levels in women is another major factor.

It need hardly be stated why this is a huge concern. Obesity is linked to many health complaints, from diabetes to heart disease. If more and more women are becoming so overweight they can only deliver a child with surgical intervention, what does that say about their health, life expectancy and levels of fitness and energy bearing in mind the demanding child-rearing task ahead of them? There is the psychological factor too, of having produced a child without having gone through the pain, but also the experience of labour.

A pre-planned Caesarean means that the baby comes, and will forever celebrate his or her birthday, on the date that the maternity unit books you in for your appointment. It is all so unemotional, so clinical. It doesn't seem right and perhaps that's because in many cases, it isn't.

The other aspect to all this is that growing demand for Caesareans is putting increasing pressure on maternity units at a time when a cost-cutting axe is hanging over at least one of them in North Wales.

Certainly it makes the case for retaining and indeed expanding existing maternity services stronger and makes the prospect of cutting back seem even crazier than it did already.

But that aside, women do themselves no favours having unnecessary Caesareans. The best lifestyle choice is to eat healthily, drink in moderation and exercise sensibly. That approach also gives women the best chances of conceiving in the first place.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Dec 13, 2010
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