Written by Natalie Ramm, Maternal Health Task Force
Rates of cesarean section are extremely high in certain countries like Brazil and the United States, among others, and dangerously low in others. The World Health Organization stated that the target range of cesarean section rates is 10-15 percent. In Brazil, the rate is 82 percent.
The countries around the world where C-sections rates are too high… and too low http://t.co/jqwaMVLs6v
— HuffPost Living (@HealthyLiving) April 17, 2014
The Atlantic reported that the procedure has become a standard practice in Brazil “driven primarily by unwanted procedures rather than personal preference. And some women elect to go under the knife only after hearing about the rough treatment of mothers who choose the alternative.” Maternal rights need to be taken into account when it comes to making an important choice that affects the health of women and their families.
Though Brazil’s cesarean section rates are high, according to the WHO, countries like Nigeria and Ethiopia have dangerously low rates at 1.8% and 1.0% respectively. Interventions and resources are needed to balance these inequities.
Recent research articles and reports on cesarean sections
- Use of labour induction and risk of cesarean delivery: a systematic review and meta-analysis CMAJ | April 2014
- Reasons for performing a caesarean section in public hospitals in rural Bangladesh | BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | April 2014
- Assessing the quality of record keeping for cesarean deliveries: results from a multicenter retrospective record review in five low-income countries | BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth | April 2014
- Searching for the Optimal Rate of Medically Necessary Cesarean Delivery | Birth | April 2014
- Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery | The American College of Obstetrics and Gynocologists | March 2014
- The Impact of Payment Source and Hospital Type on Rising Cesarean Section Rates in Brazil, 1998 to 2008 | Birth | March 2014
- (pdf) The Global Numbers and Costs of Additionally Needed and Unnecessary Caesarean Sections Performed per Year: Overuse as a Barrier to Universal Coverage | World Health Organization | 2010
Recent news articles on cesarean sections
- Inside a war on natural birth: c-sections as status symbol and ‘choice’ as a myth | The Guardian | April 2014
- Brazil isn’t the only country with a startlingly high c-section rate | Huffington Post | April 2014
- Why most Brazilian women get c-sections | The Atlantic | April 2014
- Refusals cut options after c-section | The New York Times | April 2014
If you have suggestions for additional research or news articles to add to this list, please contact Natalie Ramm.