What is driving Australia’s high caesarean rate?

Screen-Shot-2014-03-20-at-4.04.39-pm-300x112.pngAustralia’s high caesarean rate ” especially within the private sector, has risen at an alarming rate.

I have said this for many years; women are NOT “too posh to push” ” the absolute majority of women who have scheduled caesareans are following doctor’s recommendations. Sometimes this procedure is the safest for mother and baby; however common sense questions that this would be the safest option for over 30% of all births in Australia!

Why is our caesarean rate so much higher than many other countries, such as the UK? What is driving the high caesarean rate within Australia?

I believe that it is due to many factors. A lack of education for women and their birth partners. A lack of proper consultation regarding the risks, benefits and alternatives. A system of maternity care which does not support ‘continuity of care’ (midwife led). Money. Convenience. Litigation (though this might change if women start suing for unnecessary interventions).

Queensland researches have conducted three surveys of 14,000 women that confound views that soaring rates of caesareans in private hospitals are because of differences in women’s ages, risks or that they are “too posh to push”.

Dr Yvette Miller, lead author and senior lecturer in public health at the Queensland University of Technology, found that “…according to the surveys, an equal number of women want a natural birth in private and public sectors, but in private there’s a higher proportion of women saying they were only allowed a caesarean.” 

“We’re unsure what motivates doctors’ decisions, it could be financial incentives, convenience or a different approach to risk in private and public sectors.”

Dr Miller is now researching the reasons for the recommendations.

We look forward to hearing more!

Please CLICK HERE to read more about the survey and upcoming research.

Melissa Spilsted

Director Hypnobirthing Australia

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