One in five mothers give birth through cesarean

Childbirth is a complicated process. While being in the hands of a team of professionals avoids many problems. However, all these undesirable situations can not always be avoided and an unforeseen situation can arise when someone least expects it. At this point the Caesarean section it may be the solution that prevents the context from becoming even worse.

An intervention that in recent years has increased among mothers around the world, and especially in first world countries. A situation that the experts relate, in part, to the late maternity that occurs in these countries and that increases the possibility that a birth of this type happens.

More than necessary

According to the study published in the journal The Lancet, 21% of pregnancies in the world end in childbirth Caesarean section. That is, one in five women has their child through this procedure. A percentage that is above what the World Health Organization, WHO, considers as "necessary". This organism indicates that only between 10 and 15% of the cases this intervention is justified.


If you look at the different areas of the world, you can see how it is in more developed countries where these practices predominate. In North America, the cesarean section rate is 32%, same percentage as in Oceania, while in Europe it is 27%. However, in Africa this number is 10%, a figure that is consistent with that recommended by the WHO.

More specifically, in Spain, the cesarean rate is of 24%, figure that is above the WHO recommendation and that exceeds the world average. A symptom of how in later developed countries late motherhood is leading to an increase in these numbers since having a child at more advanced ages increases this risk.


Cesarean sections according to WHO

Do not forget that cesareans are a surgical intervention not without problems. For this reason, and given the importance for the future of the mother and son, the WHO has launched the following statement where they value this procedure:

- Cesarean sections are effective to save the lives of mothers and neonates only when they are necessary for medical reasons.

- At the population level, cesarean rates above 10% are not associated with a reduction in maternal and neonatal mortality rates.

- Caesarean sections can cause significant complications and disabilities, sometimes permanent or even death, especially in places that lack facilities or ability to perform surgeries safely, and to treat surgical complications. Ideally, cesareans should be performed only when they are necessary for medical reasons.


- Everything possible should be done to perform caesarean sections for all women who need it, instead of trying to reach a certain rate.

- The effects of cesarean rates on other outcomes such as stillbirth, maternal and perinatal morbidity, pediatric outcomes and psychological or social well-being are not clear. Additional research is needed to understand the health effects of caesarean sections on some immediate and future outcomes.

Damián Montero

Video: Gentle Cesarean Section Video - Brigham and Women's Hospital


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