The Lancet just published an article entitled “Method of delivery and pregnancy outcomes in Asia: the WHO global survey on maternal and perinatal health 2007—08”. Here’s the conclusion:
We obtained data for 109 101 of 112 152 deliveries reported in 122 recruited facilities (97% coverage), and analysed 107 950 deliveries. The overall rate of caesarean section was 27·3% (n=29 428) and of operative vaginal delivery was 3·2% (n=3465). Risk of maternal mortality and morbidity index (at least one of: maternal mortality, admission to intensive care unit [ICU], blood transfusion, hysterectomy, or internal iliac artery ligation) was increased for operative vaginal delivery (adjusted odds ratio 2·1, 95% CI 1·7—2·6) and all types of caesarean section (antepartum without indication 2·7, 1·4—5·5; antepartum with indication 10·6, 9·3—12·0; intrapartum without indication 14·2, 9·8—20·7; intrapartum with indication 14·5, 13·2—16·0). For breech presentation, caesarean section, either antepartum (0·2, 0·1—0·3) or intrapartum (0·3, 0·2—0·4), was associated with improved perinatal outcomes, but also with increased risk of stay in neonatal ICU (2·0, 1·1—3·6; and 2·1, 1·2—3·7, respectively).
To improve maternal and perinatal outcomes, caesarean section should be done only when there is a medical indication.
Haven’t read the full text yet, but I will.
(Hat tip, Pushed Birth)