Research reveals rise in global CS rate
Research published in The Lancet shows that the number of babies born through CS almost doubled globally between 2000 and 2015 – from 12% to 21% of all births.
The researchers found that the global increases in CS use are attributed both to more births taking place in health institutions and to greater frequency of intervention through CS in health facilities.
RCM head of quality and standards Mandy Forrester said this research shows not only the level of CS in the UK and elsewhere, but also the implications for women who have one.
‘There will always be women who for medical reasons need a caesarean, but there are many, as this research shows, which are not needed,’ she added.
‘For the UK it must be stressed that there are different risk levels around CS depending on where in the world the operation takes place. However, we are seeing evidence of the harm caused by repeated CS in research coming out such as the MBRRACE study,’ Mandy said.
She added: ‘What is crucial is that women are aware of the potential complications of having a CS in the short and long term. To ensure this happens we need to give midwives the time to sit and discuss a woman’s options for the birth of her baby. It is very important that women make their decisions based on the best available evidence. This is so that they can make the decision that is right for them and their birth.
Mandy said that it is also important that women get continuity of carer during and after their pregnancy: ‘When the woman knows and trusts her midwives she will be more likely to share her concerns about her pregnancy. The midwife in turn will be better able to support the woman through her pregnancy.
‘Nice guidelines on CS support midwives and their colleagues to in turn support women to make their decision. Midwives will respect a woman’s choice and support her in her choice.’