Rate of Caesarians still steady or on the rise: report

The Journal de Montreal says despite a push to reduce the number of Caesarian deliveries performed in Quebec's hospitals,  Montreal-area hospitals report a steady or increased rate of Caesarians.

The highest rates are seen at the Royal Victoria Hospital, where 31% of deliveries are Caesarian and at the Lakeshore General, at 30%.

MUHC hospitals say they handle a disproportionate number of high-risk pregnancies.

Others such as the Jewish General Hospital are not far behind at 28%.

Dr. Cleve Ziegler is director of gynocology there. He cited factors such as aging mothers. in vitro patients, high-risk preganancies and obesity. While natural births are the goal for an otherwise normal labour and young healthy mother, he said Caesarians are a world trend that sees no sign of decreasing.

"I think it will continue because the demand from society is a perfect baby and labour and delivery are intrinsically risky things. At the end of the day, it's less stressful for both patient and physician in many cases to have a planned caesarian section or to have a low threshold to do a caesarian section," Dr. Ziegler told CJAD 800 News.

"I believe they will continue to rise. A Caesarian section, it really becomes safer. Family size is also another issue. Women aren't having five or six kids. One could argue that if a woman is going to have a couple of kids, two Caesarian sections are the safest way to go."

Only the CHUM has managed to put a significant dent in its Caesarian rate, reducing it by about three percentage points, to 23%.

The World Health Organization recommends a Caesarian rate no higher than 15-percent.

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  1. Lesley Everest posted on 04/21/2014 01:43 PM
    These are all very interesting points from a well respected Montreal Obstetrician.

    I agree there will likely be a high and continuing demand for C-sections. But is it safer in general? Enough to just go ahead and have those one or 2 babies you're planning by section and call it a day because birth is inherently risky? Hmmmm.

    Having worked with many physicians in the Montreal birthing rooms, I have received contradictory information to those claims. It seems hard to believe that normal, straightforward birth is riskier than major abdominal surgery, and many of them concur. Not all doctors seem to feel the same way.

    There is so much advocates of normal birth could say to argue a couple of these points, but it's all been said before, so I won't trot out WHO statistics or personal opinion. My point, is that there are more sides to this story, and a consumer of medical care needs to discern evidence for certain interventions proposed to her as well as be very aware of her rights when she is having a baby. Clearly there can be personal bias on her physician's end. A woman's relationship with her OB needs to be one of partnership in which her values about birth are respected.

    I have absolutely no doubt that for many physicians, Caesareans are less stressful than waiting around to see how a normal, long, first time mother's birth pans out. It is a waiting game, the skilled mind trained to identify and deal with emergencies always trying to stay ahead of the game to mitigate risk. I certainly understand and have compassion for the internal struggle of a primary health care provider. But in the end we have to ask ourselves if this obstetric stress justifies most Caesareans. Many women who have had Caesareans will tell you the surgery and recovery was no walk in the park, and in fact found it more stressful than their labours. There are many sides to a story. This is but one.
  2. karyn posted on 04/21/2014 04:49 PM
    I agree C-sections are NO WALK IN THE PARK!!! I've had 3 none of them were the same ,recovery time,infection ect..like normal birth..you really never know how you will fair or your baby, I've heard people say C-sections babies are much more quiet and relaxed...wish someone would of told my first born that,because it was not the case at all..I think it was my first born who paved the way for babies staying in the room with their mother's my son had such a loud cry and it would hurt ears ,I could hear him crying in the nursery at the hospital it got to the point the nurses would bring to me at night because he was disturbing the other babies :0( (no joking)...
    ....C-sections ...should not be done unless it's a danger to the mother and/or baby..mine were done for safety reasons ...and I am really grateful to the Obstetrician for saving my life and my babies lives..but I must say deep down I wish I could of had natural birth!I I feel my body robbed me of such a precious experience that mother and baby have for the first and only time.. this is but one side to a story. GREAT article Shuyee Lee Thank You! :0)
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