India has the highest C- Secs in the world

The latest data from the National Family Health Survey of India shows a disturbing trend. India is showing a worrying increase in caesarian deliveries, the numbers doubling over the last decade. And it is the educated, upper class segments which are opting for the procedure for such flimsy reasons as warding off pain or timing the birth of the child with a planetary alignment. Read on to believe what seems impossible.

Increasing C-section


·      In 10 years, the number of C- section deliveries has doubled


·      The rate of increase in C-section in India is seven per cent, which is almost double the rest of the world.


·      A rich population with better access to health facilities is opting for C- section than the poor population.


·      States with the highest literacy have higher numbers of C-section


·      Other than medical complications and fear of pain, would-be mothers are opting for C-section for bizarre reasons like birth on auspicious days.



In 2015 -16, about 17.2% deliveries took place through C- section which is almost double from the 9% in 2005-2006. The percentage is too high from the set standards of 10- 15 % by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The change during the last decade corresponds to an annual rate of increase in cesarean deliveries in India by 7%, almost twice the rate observed in the world. This rate spikes to astronomical highs in some of India’s most literate states — 40% in Andhra Pradesh, 37.2% in Lakshadweep, 35.8% in Kerala and 33% in Jammu and Kashmir and Nagaland.  In states like Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Uttarakhand, the rate is much lower, ranging from 8% to 12%.

Data also reveals that C-section is more popular among the richer population while the poor cannot avail it simply because of a lack of equipped hospital facilities. Among the latter, only 4.4% deliveries performed through c-section.


Though it’s very common to have C-SECTION,  it is not normal and amounts to being a major surgery. Your doctor may recommend a caesarian operation only when:

·              Your baby is in a breech position (which means he is bottom down).

·              Your baby is in a transverse position (on the side), or changes his position frequently – also called an unstable lie.

·              You have a low-lying placenta.

·              You have diabetes or a heart condition.

·              You’re expecting multiples.

·              Your baby is not following the expected pattern of growth and development in the womb.

·              You have a condition which may make it dangerous to delay birth.

·              In emergency

·              Slow progress of labour. This is either because the neck of your cervix is not dilating rapidly enough when labour commences, or that there is an issue when pushing the baby out of the birth canal.

·              The baby may be distressed or your health may be deteriorating.



While the rise in C-section deliveries is a global trend, what is worrying experts is how women were opting for it even when there is no medical need to undergo the procedure.  Across the world, C-sections are associated with higher rates of maternal morbidities such as obesity and complications in subsequent pregnancies. “When we looked at the demographics of the women who chose C-section, we found the rates had risen across states, among the poor and rich, educated and illiterate alike,” said Dr Sudha Aacharya, senior professor at Lady Hardinge medical college.

Precautions for a healthy delivery

·              Go for regular check-ups.

·              Do prenatal exercises and yoga with the guidance of an expert.

·              Take a proper nutritious diet.

·              Don’t fear pain, it is natural.

·              Do not fall for superstitions like manipulating the baby’s birth.

Do not play god.

“The younger breed of doctors does not get enough opportunities to learn forcep delivery from their seniors. There are women who initially opt for normal deliveries, but when in labour, ask the doctors to perform a C-section. It is our responsibility to motivate them to continue with the normal deliveries,” she added.

Dr Nidhi Gupta, senior consultant, JP Super Speciality Hospital, Noida, says, “The fear of pain, increase in the number of older mothers, which is known to increase complications, may also be reasons,” adding there were also those cases where mothers wanted to have the baby at an “auspicious day and time.” Of course, hospitals and doctors cannot wash their hands off the matter and get lost in the commerce of the procedure which might compromise India’s maternal health status in times to come

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