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C-sections reach 25%

27th February 2007

More and more babies are being delivered by C-section, according to a new report.

The study by the Office of Health Economics has revealed that a quarter of all NHS births in 2005 were carried out by Caesarean operation.  The figures echo the increasing trend among women who elect to have a C-section but the report also highlights the greater use of emergency operations to deliver babies. 

Caesarean births are also thought to be on the increase as women are delaying having children until later in life and greater obesity levels in mothers leads to increasing birth complications. Doctors fearing litigation has also been identified as a factor in driving up the rate of Caesarean births. 

Caesarean deliveries are sometimes vital in saving the lives of a women and her baby.  A low lying placenta or prolapsed umbilical cord present too high a risk for a vaginal birth and result in a planned Caesarean delivery.  Sometimes attempts to give birth naturally leave the health of the baby or mother under threat in which case an emergency C-section is carried out.  A weak baby or one lying in the breech position will also often result in a Caesarean birth.

Women over 40 are 2.5 times more likely to have a Caesarean delivery than those under twenty.

 

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