Emergency caesareans could lead to postnatal depression, study says

According to a new study, first-time mothers who undergo an unplanned caesarean section are 15 percent more likely to go through postnatal depression.

The study was carried out by researchers at the University of York in England.

They found that mothers who had had a C-section needed more mental health support afterward.

This was due to the fact that the procedure is usually carried out as a result of complications during labour.

Dr. Valentina Tonei, an author from the department of economics at the University of York said, ''The findings of this study are striking because they provide evidence of a causal relationship between emergency C-sections and postnatal depression.''

She continued, ''This has important implications for public health policy, with new mothers who give birth this way in need of increased support.''

She went on to say that the effects of postnatal depression can be far-reaching, with previous studies suggesting that it can have a negative effect on the baby’s development. 

This study looked at a bigger-than-normal size of data - 5,000 first-time mothers.

Also, by keeping the focus on first-time mothers they eliminated the effects of previous birthing experiences. 

Valentina said, '''Unplanned caesareans may have a particularly negative psychological impact on mothers because they are unexpected, usually mentally and physically stressful and associated with a loss of control and unmatched expectations.''

She added, ''While the financial costs associated with this surgical procedure are well recognised, there has been less focus on the hidden health costs borne by mothers and their families. We hope this new evidence brings the impact on mothers’ mental health into the spotlight.”

The number of women undergoing C-sections has increased in many developed countries over the past few decades and they account for 32 percent of all births in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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