Mothers and babies can be saved by controlling cesarean deli
A 30-year global study led by University of Queensland researchers has found rates of childbirth by cesarean section are rising and exceeding safe levels in many developing countries. Researchers investigated rates of cesarean delivery in 74 low and middle-income countries, reporting increasing risks to the lives of mothers and babies.

Investigator said that cesarean delivery rates had increased over time in most of the countries, some quite remarkably. Cesarean delivery rates above 20 percent place mothers and babies at greater risk of surgery-related complications for current and subsequent pregnancies.

At the same time, cesarean rates below five percent also negatively affect maternal health.

The study found cesarean rates below five percent in more than one-quarter of low and middle-income countries, with the lowest rates in Madagascar and Chad at 1.5 percent and Niger at 1.6 percent.

"What is crucial for controlling the overuse of cesarean delivery is the use of the service in a meaningful way when medically required."

"Ensuring women have their babies in facilities with demand-based use of cesarean section can save lives and positively impact maternal and child health."

The report also found that increasing cesarean delivery rates were highest among the richest women living in urban centers.

In particular, cesarean delivery rates varied substantially across geographical locations and over time, irrespective of public or private health facilities.

British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology