1 in 5 babies worldwide now born via caesarean
More than one in five babies worldwide are now born via caesarean, with more than half of births delivered surgically in some countries, according to international researchers.
In a worldwide report on 169 nations, the average global caesarean rate has almost doubled from 12% in 2000 to 21% in 2015.
That's an average annual increase of almost 4%, according to a series of research papers and editorials published in the Lancet.
Almost two-thirds of the 169 countries surveyed overused caesareans, above the recommended level of 10-15% of births where caesareans are considered medically necessary, the authors say.
Australia has a rate of 32.7%, while in at least 15 countries in the world, the caesarean rate exceeds 40%.
Meanwhile, one in four countries underuse caesareans, with rates well below 10-15%.
“Worldwide there is an alarming increase in caesarean section rates,” writes