A recent blog post on The Unnecesarean sheds some light on the connection between obesity and cesarean section:
The post is partly in response to a New York Times article:
The Unnecesarean post also cites a really good blog post on The Well-Rounded Mama:
For a nice overview of the topic, read the post on The Unncesarean, and if you want more info, read the other two as well.
In a nutshell, this is what I learned:
- Obese women are more likely to have a cesarean because of the increased risk of pregnancy complications like Gestational Diabetes and Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (AKA Preeclampsia). How much?
- According to The Well-Rounded Mama, 90% of obese women will NOT experience GD or PIH. The risk for GD in morbidly obese women (BMI over 35) is 9.5%, compared to 2.3% in women with a BMI less than 30. The risk for PIH in morbidly obese women is 6.3% compared to 2.1%.
Jill from The Unncesarean also points out that these aren't the only reasons obese women are more likely to have a c-section compared to other women, and that journalists should write about the reasons and heart of the matter rather than simply sensationalizing the trends.
I personally have a hard time seeing how these complication risks can warrant the current US overall cesarean rate of 33%. Something to think about.