A consultant gynecologist from Ladoke Akintola University Teaching Hospital in Nigeria, Dr Sekinat Oyebamiji has called on women, in developing countries to live beyond the fear of Caesarean section whenever the need arises.
Caesarean section, also known as C-Section or Caesarean delivery is the use of surgery to deliver one or more babies from expectant mothers. It is often necessary when a vaginal delivery would put the baby, mother or both at risk.
Dr Oyebamiji made the call on at the launch of a book: Knives and Nappies… A Journey Through the World of Caesarean Birth Stories, in Osogbo, Osun State capital.
The book, a collection of experiences of Caesarean births of many women, including that of the author, Hajiyah Haleemah Alli Bankole aimed to demystify the fear that is often associated with the surgical knives.
According to the Dr Oyebamiji, caesarean section has always evoked shock and curiousity among many women in developing countries like Nigeria as they usually express fear of the unknown when going through knives and cuts.
“This fear of the unknown usually makes them (women) to shy away from the surgical knives. In some instances, women, especially the illiterates are often mislead by lack of knowledge, cultural values and fake professes.
“But what they must know is that caesarean C/S is often, a necessity which is made compulsory to avoid deaths. The consequences are often damning. The needless fear of this do drag our women to quack doctors, inexperienced birth attendants and spiritual doctors.”
“Experience and statistics have shown that most avoidable maternal mortality is often caused by these practices. This book is timely and I recommend it for all women”.
Dr Oyebamiji who advised women to always hearken to doctors advise on Caesarean Section said women above age 35 are prone to many factors that could compel surgical operations.
She also advised that the book be translated into local languages to assist women who are more affected by the fear of Caesarean Section.
Speaking, the author, Hajiyah Bankole said the book is a product of the initial fear and her personal experience with the surgical knife.
“Knives and Nappies’ was conceived on relieving the shock I felt, when out of the blues, the doctor announced to me that I had to undergo a Caesarean Section. Suddenly my eyes became aware of a birth procedure which I realised every woman needs to be aware of, because sometimes, it sends you an advanced notice and at other times, it just comes into your life…abruptly”, she said.
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Dr Wale Okediran who reviewed the book agreed that surgical operations are usually challenging mentally, physically and spirituality and that going through Caesarean Section for women remains one of those momentous experiences.
According to Okediran, “the writer, who is a multiple Caesarean Section recipient tells her story in simple and easily assessable language.”
In his words “So rich and educative is the book that, apart from telling her story, Haleemah has successfully given us a book that can be useful not only to prospective patients, but also to health workers, researchers and students alike”, he said.
The 164 page book, divided into three main sections has Section One, ‘The Caesarean Sections Handbook’, Section Two: ‘The ABC of Caesarean Sections’ and Section Three: Our Caesarean Birth stories makes an interesting reading.