Number of C-sections being carried out hits decade-high, NHS figures reveal

More than a third of babies were delivered by C-section in England last year — the highest level in a decade.

Today, the NHS revealed that 35% of all births occurred between 1995 and 1997. March 2021 and April 2021 were both performed via a caesarean. This is a significant increase from the quarter ten years ago.

The reasons for this rise are rising obesity levels in society and women opting to have children later in life.  

MailOnline analysis shows that C-section rates can vary greatly depending on where you live.

NHS data revealed which trusts had the lowest and highest C section rates in England.

The state where cannabis is legalized makes it five times more common for women to smoke while they are pregnant. This raises the risk of having stillbirths or birth defects. 

Women who live and work in states with less restrictive cannabis laws in the United States are more likely than women who live in more restrictive areas to use the drug.

Pregnancy can lead to premature birth, low birth weight, stillbirth or even death. Long-term brain development problems may also be a result of smoking the drug.

The study, which included multiple states, found that women who are pregnant in states where marijuana can be legally obtained for medical or recreational purposes were nearly five times as likely to use it than women who reside in states that permit CBD. 

The report was written amid the cannabis revolution that is sweeping America. It urged prenatal care providers and primary care providers alike to educate pregnant patients on the potential dangers of using marijuana while pregnant. 

More than half of all states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes, while 21 states and DC allow adults to legally use it recreationally.

Lead author Kathak Vachhani said: ‘Therefore it is increasingly important to evaluate the risk-benefit profile of cannabis as compared to other medical treatments to understand any potential therapeutic indications for cannabis use in pregnancy.’ 

Tuesday’s report follows a week-long study in Canada, in which half of the 50 expecting mothers said they used the drug during pregnancy despite knowing health risks. 

Royal Cornwall Hospitals, for instance, had the lowest C section rate in England. Just 24.4 percent of births were caesarean, or less than one in four. 

Similar rates were also seen at South Tyneside (25.9%), and Sunderland (27%), respectively. 

Kettering General Hospital had the highest birth rate at 43.7 percent in 2021/22, with caesareans accounting for 43.7 percent of all births.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ ranked 2nd (43.6%), followed by University College London Hospitals (33.2%). 

In England, 578 562 babies were delivered at NHS hospitals during the past year.

C-sections are on the rise over the years, partly due to increasing obesity.

According to some studies, being overweight during pregnancy can increase the likelihood of needing a C section. 

Due to increased complications, mothers-to-be in their 40s and 50s are more likely to require a C-section.

Helen George, Call The Midwife star, is one of thousands of women who have chosen the procedure to reduce the pain during childbirth.

The increase comes after multiple damning reports about poor maternity services in England.

One damning report found that mothers and babies were suffering unnecessary injuries and death from their obsession with “natural” or “normal” births.

Authors stated that problems at Telford Hospital NHS Trust and Shrewsbury Hospital NHS Trust could also be occurring in other hospitals. 

After maternity units in England were informed to release the Ockenden report, it was published. Stop pursuing normal births. The country’s top midwife instructed all locations to “stop using total caesarean sections rates as a method of performance management” because it was “unsafe”. 

However, NHS bosses stress that a low C-section rate doesn’t mean a maternity care is unsafe.

The latest data showed that Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford Hospital remained in the top 10 NHS trusts for C sections with a rate only 28.4%. 

Numerous women have spoken out in the wake of Shrewsbury’s report about how they felt pressured not to have a Caesarean section.

One of these was Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan, who revealed earlier this year she had been ‘told I wasn’t going to have a Caesarean section’ during the difficult birth of her first child.

However, as of April this year NHS trusts were still posting job advertisements for midwives seeking applicants who were Admitted to “normal birth” and seeking “normality-focused midwives”. 

The UK has promoted the idea of a normal birth’ over the years. In fact, in 2007, the Royal College of Midwives and the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists signed a normal birth consensus statement’.

They said: ‘With appropriate care and support the majority of healthy women can give birth with a minimum of medical procedures…

“Procedures used during labour that increase the possibility of medical interventions should not be used.”

A similar scandal occurred at Morecambe Bay NHS trust. This time, it was a maternity scandal. 

The 2015 inquiry which found 11 babies and one mother had suffered avoidable deaths – found a group of midwives’ overzealous pursuit of natural childbirth had ‘led at times to inappropriate and unsafe care’.

It was two years later that the RCM discontinued its normal birth campaign and pulled similar advice from its website for midwives.

The RCOG also apologised for signing the ‘normal-birth consensus statement’ in 2007

This statement stated that it could have misunderstoodly believed that safety and targets around childbirth might be more important than safety. We regret this.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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