New guidelines for caesarean births

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG)  - one of FIGO's member associations - has unveiled new guidelines aiming to improve maternal and newborn health and reduce the number of caesarean births.

Figures released by ACOG indicated that in 2007 31 per cent of American women had a caesarean birth, putting their and their unborn child's health at risk.

Doctors in America are now encouraged, under new ACOG guidelines, to allow women to opt for vaginal births after having had a previous c-section. The decision follows studies which indicate 60 to 80 per cent of women will be successful and not require a c-section.

Such a move would help women avoid the risks and potential complications associated with major surgery.

According to a report in Time Magazine, a caesarean birth increases the likelihood of a mother returning to hospital with complications compared to those women who had a vaginal birth.

The news comes as a UK government survey suggests that 20 per cent of British teenage girls will have been pregnant at least once before they turn 18.

Posted by Paul Robertson