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Issue Home April 22, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

LACEYVILLE: The grand jury at Tunkhannock last week ignored the charge against Clayton G. Keller, principal of the Laceyville High School, charged by the parents of Miss Blanche Russell, a pupil, with assault and battery. Miss Russell is alleged to have made an infraction of the school rules and the principal punished her with a ruler quite severely. Miss Russell complained of the mode and strenuousness of the punishment and the young lady’s father had the principal arrested and held for court. The grand jury of Wyoming county, after hearing the evidence, decided to ignore the bill, placing half the costs, however, upon the disciplinarian.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: Ice that was stored in stacks in the barn on the Hoyt farm, near Lake Montrose during the winter, is now being shipped over the Lehigh Valley to points in eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Messrs. S. G. Fancher, F. D. Morris, C. O. Hoyt and W. H. Conklin are the shippers.

BRANDT: Raphael Kessler, Sr., one of the best known men in Susquehanna County, died at his home at Brandt last Saturday. The deceased was born in Germany, coming to this country when a young man. He was educated for the Presbyterian ministry and for over 13 years preached until his health failed and he was obliged to give up the ministry. Having married Miss Nancy H. Brandt, daughter of the late Henry W. Brandt, who had a branch acid factory in Brandt, the principal industry of the place, he took charge of the factory for his father-in-law. The wood acid business was then in its infancy and Mr. Kessler afterwards took over the business and at one time had one of the largest manufactories of its kind in the country. He was also largely interested in other business enterprises and continued to give them his attention almost up to the time of his death.

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: Walter Hartman is the floor walker at Fish and Sheldon’s store and is well liked by the customers for his kind attention with which he treats them. Ray Greenwood is home for a month and is over-hauling the goods in his father, F. S. Greenwood’s store, making quite a display in the show windows of spring goods. Ray knows how to do it and says he has got to have it.

SUSQUEHANNA: Tuesday evening the local basket ball season came to an end in Hogan Opera House. The L.A.C.C. five and the R.R.Y.M.C.A. Jr. five played. Between the halves the audience was entertained by Jack Hall, Leo Sullivan and Charles Rauner, wooden shoe dancers. After the game Lea’s orchestra furnished music for dancing.

ARARAT SUMMIT: We are glad to see R. Sparks, the butcher, of Jackson, on his weekly rounds again. Rob is the right hand man with meats.

KINGSLEY: On the roll of honor of the Kingsley Graded School, the following are those who attended every day. Ethel Welch, Minnie Searles, Julia Stearns, Marvin Stearns, Glenn Wilmarth, Walter Tiffany and Ralston Tiffany; those who missed only one day were: Louise Stearns, Irene Stearns and Lynn Mathews.

NEW MILFORD: Daniel Rice, who died on March 31, aged 78 years, came to Gibson when he was about five months old, having been born in near Sterling, Mass. The journey occupied six weeks and for a portion of the way was marked only by blazed trees. When he was 14 months old his father died. Mr. Rice was married to Miss Emeline Perry and lived in New Milford for the better part of his life.

MONTROSE: “Old Tim” the lovely, big, fluffy, yellow Tarbell House cat, is no more. He was found on an ash heap in the rear of the hotel, and a bullet in the head of the poor inoffensive cat disclosed the manner of his death. Tim’s right name was “Timothy Tarbell House,” and his age was 14 years. Not believing in nightly paradings and caterwauling on other folk’s back fences, Tim felt that his duty was to act as mouser in the Tarbell House, which duty he carried out well up to the time even when old age made his legs rheumatic and his beautiful golden coat and white vest very much disheveled. Many a traveling man and other friends too, will feel badly to hear that Tim has gone, and will never greet them in the halls and office again. He had been given the freedom of the house for years. Friends stood ready to take Tim, but a former mistress wished the cat to remain at the Tar bell House pending being sent for to live in more quiet quarters.

UNIONDALE: Dr. Craft and M. D. Daniels expect to sail up the Nile some time this summer. ALSO Harvey Smith is selling lime by the car load to farmers. They say that lime sweetens the soil. The profits make Harvey smile very sweetly.

FRIENDSVILLE: We are sorry to hear that the stage running from here to Binghamton is to change hands after July first, as Mr. Brown has given the best of satisfaction while he has been driving.

FOREST CITY: There were exclamations of pleased surprise all over town when the electric current was turned on Friday night. The company had promised greatly improved service when the Carbondale power plant was tapped, and the promise was fulfilled. After the miserable services of the past few months, during which time the local lines were loaded beyond capacity of the generating machinery, the new illuminant seemed dazzling. As our 90 candle power lamps blow out, it is probable they will be replaced with others of higher voltage. The company has replaced the old fashioned arc lights with more modern lamps which need attention but once a week instead of daily. They make a light with a blue tinge.

NEWS BRIEF: The capabilities of the split-log road drag were never more forcibly demonstrated than on the Main Street of the village of Millerton. One round trip through town transformed the highway from a sticky, rutty and bumpy abomination into a road nearly as smooth and agreeable as the macadam. ALSO For the eighth time in as many years ‘Squire Peter Fisher, of Columbia county, is laid up in bed with injury to his left leg. Once a year as regular as the seasons, Fisher either breaks or injures that left leg in such a manner as to cripple him temporarily. He wouldn’t feel right if he did not. A load of hay was blown over on him by the wind this time. Alternately he has been run over by a wagon, mowing machine, hurt by a runaway, stuck with a pitchfork, shot, and hurt several other ways. Half a dozen times the doctors thought they would have to saw the leg off but Fisher is a scion of a sturdy family and he still has his leg.

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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

On April 8, 2009, President Obama declared April to be National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. President Obama noted that sexual assault is “pervasive” in the United States and issued the declaration in order “to increase awareness about [sexual assault], prevent future crimes, and aid victims.” We reviewed our files and found that we have prosecuted (or are currently prosecuting) 95 cases of sexual assault over the past 5 years – roughly 20 cases per year. This number does not necessarily indicate the number of sexual assaults in Susquehanna County over the past 5 years – only the number reported where there was sufficient evidence to file charges and pursue a prosecution.

In September, I will have been a prosecutor for 10 years. Over the course of that decade, I have seen thousands of cases of every potential variety. As a result of the sheer volume of cases, it becomes difficult to remember the specific facts in each case. The sexual assault cases are the ones I do not forget. The facts are abhorrent, the victims devastated and shattered, and the prosecution becomes a battle between prosecuting the perpetrator and protecting the victim from the system itself.

In the fall of 1999, the first case I ever prosecuted was a misdemeanor indecent assault – a juvenile female who was touched by her friend’s father while the victim spent the night at the friend’s home. It was a judge trial and the defendant was convicted. The conviction was nearly lost, however, as a result of my own inexperience. I forgot to ask a simple question – where did the friend live? This question was necessary for a fundamental reason – to establish jurisdiction in Susquehanna County. The defense attorney moved to dismiss the charges on the grounds that jurisdiction was not established – and I remember the sinking feeling in my stomach. Would the defendant get off because of my mistake? Where was the justice for the victim? I argued quickly that the victim testified that she and her friend were both students at a local high school, and, as such, there was evidence that the friend lived in that school district in Susquehanna County. Thankfully, it was enough to save the conviction.

In May 2000, I prosecuted my first felony sexual assault trial. It was a slam dunk – the defendant gave a full written confession to molesting his girlfriend’s two teenage daughters over a 2 year period. His confession was detailed in the level of deviance perpetrated. There was no sexual act that the defendant did not perform on the victims. Whenever the victims wanted something, they were expected to perform a sexual favor for the defendant. With a written confession, the case seemed airtight.

Then I spoke to the victims – and discovered that after the defendant’s arrest, their mother had married the defendant. How could a mother marry the man she knew had molested her daughters for years? It was incomprehensible – but the situation deteriorated further. The mother was working on the daughters to convince them not to testify against the defendant. The mother was using her love, her parental bond, her power over her daughters to assure that the pedophile who abused them walked free.

Under the law, I could not use the defendant’s written confession without the testimony of the victims. In other words, the defendant could not be convicted solely on his confession. I needed the girls to testify. The eldest broke under the mother’s pressure and told me that she would not testify. I told her that she had to testify – and I put her on the stand. She again refused to testify – and I asked that she be held in contempt and placed in a juvenile facility. Only after being explained that she had to testify or face detention did she testify and tell the truth. The defendant was convicted but only after having managed to manipulate and hurt his victim on one final occasion.

Each sexual assault case is unique and different – and disturbing in its own way. My memories of past sexual assault cases could continue unabated through the last ten years – and perhaps there will be another time to tell them. For now, remember sexual assault victims this month – their pain, their suffering, their isolation and fear. If you know someone who may be a victim, do everything in your power to get them to talk to you or someone about it. If you are looking for a way increase your awareness about this issue, the Alliance of Faith and Advocacy of Susquehanna County is hosting a free showing of the movie “Searching for Angela Shelton” at the Montrose Theatre on April 30, at 6:30 p.m. The movie tracks a documentary by the filmmaker Angela Shelton to meet other woman with the same name in the United States – only to discover that 24 out of the 40 Angela Sheltons had been raped, beaten or molested. It is a powerful documentary that will increase your understanding of these issues, and change you in the process.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. Does drinking carrot juice help with cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the lens, the clear part of the eye that helps focus images like the lens in a camera. Cataracts can blur images and discolor them. Most cataracts are related to aging. More than half of Americans over age 65 have a cataract.

I suspect this reader’s question was inspired by the common belief that carrots are good for your eyes. And carrots are good for your eyes.

Carrots contain beta-carotene, an orange pigment that is also found in spinach, sweet potatoes, green leaf lettuce, winter squash, cantaloupe, and broccoli. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is necessary for normal vision. A lack of vitamin A may cause problems seeing in the dark.

The results of studies of beta-carotene supplementation for cataract prevention are not clear. More study is needed before a conclusion can be drawn.

(Warning: Don’t take any over-the-counter supplements such as beta-carotene without consulting your physician.)

Harvard University researchers examined whether taking beta carotene supplements protects against age-related cataracts. There were 22,071 volunteers in a large, ongoing health study. After 12 years, about 2,000 cataracts and almost 1,200 cataract surgeries were reported. In most cases, beta carotene did not appear to lower the risk of getting cataracts.

Beta-carotene is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that may protect your cells against damage. Antioxidants are found in many foods including fruits and vegetables, nuts, grains, and some meats, poultry and fish.

Beta-carotene has been studied to determine its effect upon a variety of disorders, not just cataracts. Here are some of the results:

Alzheimer's disease: Intake of dietary or supplemental beta-carotene has been shown not to have any effect on Alzheimer's disease risk.

Angioplasty: There is some concern that when antioxidants, including beta-carotene, are used together they might have harmful effects in patients after angioplasty. Additional research is needed to determine the effect of beta-carotene specifically.

Cancer: Diets high in beta-carotene have been shown to potentially reduce the incidence of certain cancers. Beta-carotene supplements may have an adverse effect on the incidence of lung cancer.

Cardiovascular disease: The American Heart Association states that the evidence does not justify the use of antioxidants such as beta-carotene for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Beta-carotene supplements have not been proven to benefit COPD and may increase cancer rates in smokers.

Cognitive performance: Long term, but not short-term, beta-carotene supplementation appears to benefit cognition.

Osteoarthritis: Beta-carotene supplementation does not appear to prevent osteoarthritis, but it might slow progression of the disease. More study is needed.

Stroke: Taking synthetic beta-carotene orally has been reported to have no effect on the overall incidence of stroke in male smokers. There is some evidence that beta-carotene increases the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage by 62 percent in patients who also drink alcohol.

Sunscreen: A combination of antioxidants may help protect the skin against irradiation. Long-term supplementation with beta-carotene appears to modestly reduce the risk of sunburn in individuals who are sensitive to sun exposure. However, beta-carotene is unlikely to have much effect on sunburn risk in most people.

Ulcers: Infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gut can lead to gastric ulcers. Dietary supplementation with beta-carotene has not been found to be effective for treating this condition.

The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including beta-carotene, from a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than through supplements, until more information is available from randomized clinical trials. Similar statements have been released by the American Cancer Society and other cancer organizations.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

At this time of year at the Susquehanna County Library, we are gearing up for a summer filed with special events and fund-raisers.

There is no fairy godmother out there to provide us with the funds that we need to continue our service to the County. We must raise these funds. Our first event is the annual Library Auction, rescheduled for May 9 at the VFW in Montrose. Community residents and businesses have donated items for this auction. The entrance ticket includes a turkey dinner and the opportunity to purchase something just perfect for you. Proceeds from the auction help to meet the Library’s annual operating expenses.

In June, there will be a party at the Forest Lake Fireman’s Field for those who have purchased tickets for our first Library Lottery Raffle. This is a unique opportunity to aid the Library Building Fund and to possibly win some money to help you. Only 2,000 tickets will be sold at $100 a ticket, but more than $148,000 in prizes will be given away, if all the tickets are sold. For more information, call (570) 278-1881.

2009 is a signature year for the Library’s annual Blueberry Festival - our 30th year. On August 7 and 8, the Festival will occupy the Green in Montrose, featuring everything Blueberry and thousands of used books for sale. Proceeds from the Blueberry Festival are vital to meet the Library’s annual expenses.

Please help Susquehanna County Library to continue to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Powderpost beetles: Wood pinholes and powder

While many of us have seen an old beam or stick of firewood riddled with a pattern of tiny holes, we probably have never seen the culprit responsible for the damages. Very tiny, seldom seen insects known as powderpost beetles cause that damage. This name stems from the very fine sawdust that spews from the tunnels in which they feed. Actually, this material, called frass, is a combination of wood borings and insect fecal material. These beetles are often found in stored lumber, rafters, beams, firewood and even furniture. Antique wooden furniture is especially vulnerable to attack by the beetles.

A barn post infested with powderpost beetles.

Powderpost is a term used to describe several different families of small, wood boring beetles that produce a fine, flour-like powder while creating very small, meandering tunnels as they feed. They often go unnoticed until the newly matured adults chew their way to the surface and exit via the numerous pin-hole sized holes that they have created. The newly-emerged adults mate and seek out appropriate, unfinished wood. There the female beetle lays her tiny cylindrical eggs in the wood pores. These eggs hatch into extremely small larvae that bore into the wood, following the grain. The larvae are c-shaped and white. These will remain active in that wood until they emerge as adults in 1 to 5 years. Damage is not usually noticed until the adults emerge. This generally occurs from April through July. Because of their small size, nocturnal habits and short life span, the adult beetles are rarely seen. Most insect field guides do not even include them. Often, powderpost beetles will reinfest the same wood from which they have emerged.

Pictured (l-r) are: the adult Lyctid beetle and the Lyctid beetle larva.

One of the most common and destructive powderpost beetle families is the Lyctidae. Adult Lyctid beetles are only one-thirtysecond to one-quarter inches long, and their round exit holes are about one-sixteenth inches in diameter. They are slender with a uniform coloration of reddish-brown or black. Lyctid beetles have prominent heads that are visible from above. Their identifying frass is very fine, like talcum powder. The Lyctid beetles only attack hardwoods with high starch content and large pores. Their favorites include oak, ash, walnut and hickory. As a result, they do the most damage to wood paneling, molding, hardwood flooring and furniture. Because of their smaller pores, birch and maple are rarely infested. They seldom attack structural house frames, since most rafters, joists and studs are constructed from fir, spruce, pine or other softwoods. Even bamboo (which is a grass, not a tree) is often attacked. Since Lyctid beetles rarely infest wood older than 5 years, infestations generally occur in new homes or recently manufactured wood products. These infestations are usually the result using improperly dried or stored lumber, which already contained the eggs or larvae. As wood ages, its starch level drops. Once that level reaches 3%, the Lyctid beetles will no longer infest it. Imported tropical hardwoods, often improperly dried and stored, are also highly susceptible to Lyctid infestation.

There are several other insect families that are considered to be powderpost beetles. One member of those is an insect known as the “death-watch” beetle. Next time I will tell you about this interesting insect and discuss other powderpost beetles. I will also provide some strategy on diagnosis and control of powderpost activity. Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters are welcome. Please email them to

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that some baby bottles contain chemicals that can cause health problems for babies? If so, how can I find alternatives that are safer?

Amy Gorman, Berkeley, CA

No links connecting specific human illnesses to chemicals oozing out of baby bottles have been proven definitively. Nonetheless, many parents are heeding the call of scientists to switch to products with less risk. A 2008 report by American and Canadian environmental researchers entitled “Baby’s Toxic Bottle” found that plastic polycarbonate baby bottles leach dangerous levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that mimics natural hormones and can send bodily processes into disarray, when heated.

All six of the leading brands of baby bottles tested – Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex – leaked what researchers considered dangerous amounts of BPA. The report calls on major retailers selling these bottles – including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart – to switch to safer products.

According to the report, BPA is a “developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function.” Researchers cite numerous animal studies demonstrating that the chemical can damage reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development. It has also been linked to breast cancer and to the early onset of puberty.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? Glass bottles are a tried-and-true chemical-free solution, and they are widely available, though very breakable. To the rescue are several companies making BPA-free plastic bottles (out of either PES/polyamide or polypropylene instead of polycarbonate). Some of the leaders are BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother’s Milkmate and Medela’s. These brands are available at natural food stores, directly from manufacturers, or from online vendors.

Most of the major brands selling BPA-containing bottles are now also offering or planning to offer BPA-free versions of their products. Consumers should read labels and packaging carefully to make sure that any product they are considering buying says unequivocally that it does not contain the chemical.

Unfortunately, switching to a BPA-free bottle is no guarantee the chemical won’t make its way into your baby’s bloodstream anyway. BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is used in everything from plastic water jugs labeled #7 to plastic take-out containers, baby bottles and canned food liners. It is so omnipresent that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.

Also, nursing mothers – especially those who haven’t discarded their old BPA-containing Nalgene water bottles – may be passing the chemical along through their breast milk. And if that weren’t enough, BPA is also used in the lining of many metal liquid baby formula cans. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted email links to the consumer affairs offices of the major formula manufacturers so concerned parents can ask them to remove BPA from their product offerings and packaging.

CONTACTS: Baby’s Toxic Bottle Report,; NRDC,; CDC,; EWG,

Dear EarthTalk: How much “old growth” forest is left in the United States and is it all protected from logging at this point?         

John Foye, via e-mail

As crazy as it sounds, no one really knows how much old growth is left in America’s forested regions, mainly because various agencies and scientists have different ideas about how to define the term. Generally speaking, “old growth” refers to forests containing trees often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. But even when there is agreement on a specific definition, differences in the methods used to inventory remaining stands of old growth forest can produce major discrepancies. Or so complains the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry (NCSSF) in its recent report, “Beyond Old Growth: Older Forests in a Changing World.”

In 1991, for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Wilderness Society each released its own inventory of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. They both used the Forest Service’s definition based on the number, age and density of large trees per acre, the characteristics of the forest canopy, the number of dead standing trees and fallen logs and other criteria. However, because each agency used different remote sensing techniques to glean data, the Forest Service came up with 4.3 million acres of old-growth and the Wilderness Society found only two million acres.

The NCSSF also studied the data, and they concluded that 3.5 million acres (or six percent) of the region’s 56.8 million acres of forest qualified as old growth – that is, largely trees over 30 inches in diameter with complex forest canopies. By broadening the definition to include older forest with medium-diameter trees and both simple and complex canopies, NCSSF said their figure would go up substantially.

In other parts of the country, less than one percent of Northeast forest is old growth, though mature forests that will become old growth in a few decades are more abundant. The Southeast has even less acreage – a 1993 inventory found about 425 old growth sites across the region, equaling only a half a percent of total forest area. The Southwest has only a few scattered pockets of old-growth (mostly Ponderosa Pine), but for the most part is not known for its age-old trees. Old-growth is even scarcer in the Great Lakes.

It is hard to say whether the remaining pockets of scattered old-growth in areas besides the Pacific Northwest will remain protected, but environmentalists are working hard to save what they can in northern California, Oregon and Washington. The outgoing Bush administration recently announced plans to increase logging across Oregon’s remaining old-growth reserves by some 700 percent, in effect overturning the landmark Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 that set aside most of the region’s remaining old growth as habitat for the endangered spotted owl.

Protecting remaining old-growth is important for many reasons. “These areas provide some of the cleanest drinking water in the world, critical salmon and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities and critical carbon storage in our fight against global warming,” says Jonathan Jelen of the nonprofit Oregon Wild, adding that as much as 20 percent of the emissions related to global warming can be attributed to deforestation and poor forest management. “A growing body of evidence is showing the critical role that forests – and old-growth forests in particular – can play in mitigating climate change.”

CONTACTS: NCSSF,; Oregon Wild,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at: or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoski

Caesarean Awareness Week April 19 - 25

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Caesarean Awareness Week, April 19 through 25.

Caesarean section also known as C-section, is a surgical procedure in which incisions are made through a mother's abdomen to deliver one or more babies. It is usually performed when a normal delivery would put the baby's or mother's life or health at risk, although in recent times it has also been performed upon the request of the mother for childbirths that could otherwise have been natural.

Although a C-section is a relatively safe procedure, there are many risks involved. A study published in the June 2006 issue of the “Obstetrics and Gynecology” journal found that women who had multiple Caesarean sections were more likely to have problems with later pregnancies. Another risk that was discovered was that of developing placenta accreta, a potentially life-threatening condition. After only two procedures, the risk is heightened to 2.13%, and then to 6.74% after six or more surgeries.

Another striking fact shown in one study suggests that mothers who have babies by caesarean take longer to first interact with their child, when compared with mothers who gave birth naturally.

These risks do not only effect the mother; the baby could develop complications such as neonatal depression due to anesthesia. Another risk is fetal injury due to the uterine incision and extraction. One study found a large increased risk of complications if a C-section is performed even a few days before the recommended 39 weeks.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the rate of Caesarean sections should not exceed 15% in any country, due to the risks involved from the procedure. Despite this, in 2006 the rate of U.S. births by C-section was 31.1%, which is the highest it has ever been.

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