Why Are So Many Caesarians Performed?

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30% of births end up in caesareans ... two of the influencing factors in this practice: social class and the maternity service utilized (public or private) ...

The study, published in the magazine Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, analyzes the data of female residents in Barcelona who gave birth between 1994 and 2003, and reveals that a relevant factor in the percentage of caesareans is birth care in private clinics, since they double public clinics in the number of surgeries.

The research project's authors confirm to SINC that, in Spain, the number of interventions carried out through caesareans is ¨excessive¨. ¨More caesareans are being done than should be done. All medical literature interprets that it should be done, at a maximum, in 15% of cases, although in many rich countries this figure is being doubled¨, ...

The results show that when public healthcare and private healthcare are compared, more caesareans are carried out in the latter case. ¨When women from disadvantaged social classes give birth in private clinics, the percentage of caesareans is equal to that of more advantaged classes¨.

... Age appears as another factor in these interventions. According to Salvador's specifications to SINC, ¨With more age, more caesareans. And in the same fashion, with more age, more possibilities of enjoying a more accommodated social class, which means there may be older women who go to give birth at private clinics ... ¨.

... Besides the reasons derived from the complications which may present themselves at childbirth, ... there are other non-medical reasons for performing caesareans: the ease that planning childbirth can mean for the doctor, the mother, and the family, as well as the economic factor ...

Although this is an American article, the stats and findings are just as relevant here in Australia.

The article shows again that the biggest determinant of birth outcome is choice of care provider and choice of location for birth.

Caesarean, induction and epidural rates are all lower when women have access to primary midwife care.

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448