Research suggests rise in caesareans is largely driven by medical advice not choice.
The popular belief that caesareans are on the rise because women are ‘too posh to push’ is incorrect, a new study shows.
University of Queensland researchers surveyed 22,000 Queensland mums in 2009 and 2010 on their birthing experience.
They found that 48 per cent of women in private hospitals who had a caesarean did so on the recommendation of their health professionals. Just under 40 per cent of women in public hospitals said the same.
Professor Sue Kruske said of all the women who had caesareans, only 10 per cent said they had wanted to have their baby born that way. "This confirms that the majority of women would prefer to have a vaginal birth," she told AAP.
"The increase in caesareans seems to be largely driven by the recommendations of doctors."
Queensland's private hospitals have the highest rate of caesarean section deliveries in Australia, accounting for 48 per cent of births.
Kruske said the trend towards caesarean sections was alarming with 34 per cent of all births in Queensland now caesarean compared to 19 per cent in 1989.
The study also found that some women are going into the procedure underprepared.
Only 52 per cent of women birthing in public and private facilities reported making an informed decision to have a planned caesarean before labour.
"This has implications on the overall satisfaction on the birthing experience and subsequent pregnancies," Kruske said.
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