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TOPIC: obstetric violence

Society

Birth Rights And Resources: Why Egypt Has A Record High C-Section Rates

Seven out of ten children in Egypt are born by Caesarian section, over three times the world average, according to recent government data. C-sections may be more profitable and easier to schedule for overworked and understaffed medical personnel, but they represent a higher physical and mental health risk for new mothers and babies. Civil society and the government are trying to bring more awareness — but reversing the trend will take time.

PORT SAID — Nahla, a 39-year-old Egyptian, and recent mother recalls the birth: “On my due date in February, 15 minutes after I got into my hospital bed, the unbearable pain had me kneeling on the ground and I received no support from the medical staff present at that moment," she recalled. "I turned to my husband, asking him to immediately take me out of there and drive me to my doctor for a cesarean section."

Nahla’s doctor told her she wouldn’t be able to endure the pain of vaginal birth, advising her to opt for a C-section, which she ultimately did even though there was no medical necessity for it. It was not until later that she learned that she could have undergone vaginal birth with epidurals or other painkillers..

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