Medicine: Caesareans Up

Delivering babies surgically

"It was easy," said Joanne Lutz, a Bridgeport, Conn., housewife, after giving birth to her first child three years ago. "A few pushes and there he was." Her second delivery was not so simple. Mrs. Lutz had been in labor less than an hour, when monitors detected an irregular infant heartbeat and other signs of fetal distress. A difficult natural birth might have produced a brain-damaged or even stillborn baby. So her doctor promptly performed a caesarean section, safely lifting out a 6-lb. girl. Says Mrs. Lutz: "A scar is a small price to pay for a healthy...

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