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May 6, 2011

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Home » Metro » Health and Science

Women favor C-sections

MORE than half of pregnant women in the city delivered their babies through cesarean section, far higher than the 15 percent warning line indicated by the World Health Organization, according to the Shanghai Women's Health Institute.

About 53.6 percent of births in the city last year were through C-sections and the trend is still rising, officials from Shanghai Women's Health Institute said.

The surgery rate among women with local registered residency climbed from 46.4 percent in 1996 to last year's 67.1 percent, the second highest in the nation following Tianjin, medical experts said yesterday, the International Day of the Midwife.

Shanghai health authorities and maternity hospitals have introduced education to inform women about the risk of unnecessary cesarean sections.

However many still choose it due to a fear of pain during delivery, worry about possible dangers for the baby during natural birth and concern about their figures.

Chen Daning, an official at Shanghai International Peace Maternity and Child Health Hospital, said about 50 percent of pregnant women at her hospital chose a C-section "even though we have given repeated education about the risks involved and the advantages of natural birth."

She said only about 10 percent of pregnant women really need cesarean sections. C-sections are used if the health of a mother or fetus is at risk from a natural birth.

"The tense relationship between hospitals and patients is getting worse as doctors are afraid of taking responsibility for any danger or accidents during natural births if they refuse a patient's request for a C-section," Chen said.


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