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Experts Troubled By Global Rise In C-Section Rates

Almost one-third of infants in the U.S. are delivered by caesarean section (c-section), a trend that is now growing globally, PRI’s The World/PBS NewsHour reports. “The c-section rate in Thailand has reached 34 percent, in Vietnam, it is 36 percent, and in China, nearly half of all births are by c-section,” the article states.

Some experts, including Joao Paulo Souza, an obstetrician for the WHO who has studied the rising number of c-sections in developing countries, are troubled by the trend, according to the article. “In settings where surgery is not safe, what we have been seeing is increased risk of hysterectomy and other severe complications,” Souza said. Sister Gillian Rose, who runs Bollobhpur Hospital in West Bangladesh, “said one of the reasons more women are having caesareans is that private doctors at private clinics are telling women they need the surgery when they do not,” the article reports. “In Bangladesh, many women who choose c-sections say they do so for convenience and to avoid the pain of childbirth,” according to the article (Anderson, 8/9).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.