Caesareans have been the subject of controversy for quite some time. The purpose of this article is not to debate the relative merits of a caesarean or a vaginal birth because for some women, a caesarean is the safest way to have a baby.
Women who stop working at least a month before their baby is due are four times less likely to have a caesarean delivery because they are less tired and anxious, research has found.
First-time mothers are getting older every year, with one in seven babies now born to women over 35, but the nation's caesarean rate is still climbing and thousands of women continue to smoke while pregnant, the latest report on Australia's mothers and babies reveals.
Pregnant women are much more willing than their doctors to accept the risks involved in having a normal vaginal delivery and most are prepared to risk even the most debilitating and painful outcomes rather than have an elective caesarean, Sydney researchers have found.