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Saturday, 2 November, 2002, 09:37 GMT
Caesarean births 'double'
babies
Almost one in five births are by Caesarean
The number of women giving birth by Caesarean section in Scotland has doubled in the past 20 years, according to new figures.

In 1981, almost 9% of mothers had children delivered by Caesarean.

This had risen to 18% two years ago.

Figures from NHS Scotland also showed there was a huge variation in the rate of Caesarean births at individual maternity hospitals.

Post-natal hospital

The Births in Scotland report also found that the average post-natal hospital stay had decreased over the last 20 years.

Mothers stayed an average of five days in hospital if they had undergone a Caesarean section, about three-and-a-half days if forceps or ventouse pumps were used, and about three days during normal deliveries.

Some 70% of women delivered their children using conventional procedures.

During the 20-year period of the study, operative vaginal deliveries were used in more than 12% of all single child, head-first births.

Some 10% of children were delivered using forceps and 2% with the aid of a vacuum pump, known as a ventouse.

Although the overall rate of delivery assistance remained virtually constant over this time, the proportional use of ventouse increased steadily year on year and is now used in about half the cases of operative vaginal intervention.

Multiple births or non-head first births, which account for 1.5% of all births in Scotland, were not included in the statistics in order to better identify trends.

See also:

15 Jul 02 | Health
23 Mar 00 | Scotland
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