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Elective C-Sections Growing in Popularity


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As soon as Clair Sassin found out she was pregnant, she knew she wanted to have a c-section.

Clair Sassin/ Elective C-Section: "I KNEW IT WOULD BE LESS STRESS ON THE BABY AND I REALLY KNEW IT WOULD BE LESS STRESS ON ME."

Ten days after Danielle was born, Clair was back on her feet.

And she's not alone. A growing number of women are deciding to have elective c-sections.

Dr. Bruce Bonn/ Obstetrician: "I THINK WOMEN HAVE A RIGHT TO CHOSE THEIR HEALTHCARE AND BE IN CONTROL OF THEIR BODIES. IF THEY'RE MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION THEY SHOULD BE ALLOWED TO DO THAT."

It's a complex and controversial topic.

Cesarean birth is major surgery and carries greater risk of bleeding, infection, and pulmonary embolism.

On the other hand, some studies suggest having a C-section lowers the risk of incontinence later in life by preventing damage to pelvic floor muscles.

But some groups question major surgery that isn't medically necessary.

Tonya Jamois/ Int'l Cesarean Awareness: "ALL SORTS OF SURGICAL MISTAKES CAN HAPPEN, ANESTHESIA PROBLEMS, NICKS FROM THE SURGEON, AND THAT'S JUST IN THE SURGERY."

According to a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine, although complications remain more common after surgical deliveries, the rate is declining.

In terms of cost, a vaginal birth is less expensive, but not so if labor is complicated and the birth ends up being by cesarean section.

Overall, one in four babies born in the United States is delivered by cesarean section.

But roughly half of deliveries in China's largest cities and Taiwan are cesarean. And the rate is nearly as high in Chile and Brazil.

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