Surge in caesarean deliveries levels off

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THE rate of caesarean deliveries in Australia has levelled off for the first time in 10 years, after growing alarm over the costs and risks associated with the procedure.

... Australia's caesarean rate in 2007 was 30.9 per cent -- an increase of only 0.1 percentage point from the previous year.

That marks a dramatic slowdown on the strong growth seen in previous years ...

... The report found a much higher rate of caesarean births among first-time mothers, at 32 per cent, than among mothers who had already had at least one child.

... more than 80 per cent of women who have given birth by caesarean section had a further caesarean delivery ...

... possible explanations for the levelling off in caesareans included changing community attitudes and a greater awareness among women and doctors of the risks.

... "... women are becoming more informed about their choices, more aware and more educated, and women are exercising that right to make a choice" ...

Melissa Maimann, Essential Birth Consulting 0400 418 448