Cesarean Rates Not Mothers' Idea

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 31 (UPI) — Canadian researchers say the more than 26 percent increase in Cesarean births is not due to maternal requests.

Researchers at the University of British Columbia find fewer than 2 percent are requested by the mothers-to-be.

“There is a misconception that the overall increase of Cesarean births is the result of maternal request,” lead author Gillian Hanley, a doctoral student, says in a statement. “Our analysis of British Columbia data shows that this is not the case.”

The study, published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, finds an average of 21.2 per 100 deliveries were first-time Cesarean sections. The most common reasons are abnormal or difficult childbirth — 30 percent of Cesareans — and non-reassuring fetal heart rate at 19.1 percent.

Hanley and colleagues examined all deliveries in British Columbia between 2004 and 2007 and say there are significant regional variations. They suggest further research is needed into why institutions differ in their responses to similar conditions.

“For example, smaller institutions may lack the resources required to respond to medical emergencies in the same manner as a tertiary care facility,” Hanley says. “It is therefore more likely for practitioners there to recommend a Cesarean delivery with a lower medical threshold.”

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