Muhurat C sections, how to decide if you want to go for one?

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Is an astrologer deciding when your child is going to be born? Read this before you consent to it.

I was having a chat with a friend of mine last week, an obstetrician by profession. The discussion turned to caesarian sections. "Anay", she said, "6 out of 10 women who are under my care request for a muhurat C-section!"

I asked her to elaborate. She told me that these couples have an astrologer on call. Generally, the way astrology 'works' is that one can 'predict' the future of the baby based on the time and date of birth. Today's astrologers have reverse-engineered this and are now predicting an auspicious date and time!

This trend is seen in middle and upper-middle-class families. The Sad thing is, many times, mums do not have much say in this.

My friend told me that these muhurats are not often at an earthy hour, and she has seen her colleagues going to perform a 'planned' C-section at 4 am! The families cause a lot of trouble if the Operation theatre is not available in time, causing concerns to busy doctors.

I googled the term and was baffled to see so many websites dedicated towards this! Trying to understand these things is too complicated for me, so I am going to simplify C-sections here. The hope is that pregnant women understand what they are signing up for when they decide to undergo a C-section. This is even more important if you are doing it for purposes not indicated by medicine.

What is a C-Section?

A Cesarean delivery — also known as a C-section, is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through incisions in the mother's abdomen and uterus. It is a procedure carried out if the doctor feels that it is a better option to a vaginal delivery.

It can be planned or done in an emergency setting, depending on the indication.

The doctor would recommend a C-section if

  • The labour is not progressing as expected
  • The baby is not getting enough oxygen
  • If the placenta is lying low and covering the cervix
  • There is something wrong with the position of the umbilical cord
  • There is a fibroid that would obstruct vaginal delivery
  • If the baby presents feet, breech or shoulders for delivery
  • You have medical conditions and labour would harm you
  • Previous C-sections have made a vaginal delivery difficult

Some women request C-sections with their first babies to avoid the pain of  labour. They may want to avoid the possible complications of vaginal birth or to take advantage of the convenience of a planned delivery. However, this is discouraged if they plan on having several children.

Women who have multiple C-sections are at increased risk of placenta problems as well as heavy bleeding, which might require a hysterectomy.

Are there risks associated with C-section?

The surgeries are becoming safer with advances in the medical management. That said, there are certain risks that your child faces along with you.

Babies born through planned C-Section may experience some difficulty in breathing in the first few days. You face the risks that are associated with any other major surgery, like an adverse reaction to anaesthesia, bleeding, blood clots, infections and a long convalescence period, not to mention possible complications in the future.

Is it worth it?

This is a question you need to answer. However, these are a few things you can keep in mind when you have to make the decision.

  • Is the prediction of your astrologer foolproof? He is a human after all, and none of the stuff is proven scientifically
  • Is it worth putting your newborn and yourself through a risk? What if something goes wrong?
  • Is the freedom to choose being used in a right way?

I hope you take the right decision. If you are under subtle pressure to do so, ask someone with an influence over your family to talk them out if it.

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(Image courtesy: Cartoon Satish)

Written by

Anay Bhalerao

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