BOSTON (CBS) – More and more women worldwide are delivering babies by Cesarean section and a new review finds physicians’ fear of being sued may be a big driver.

It is general consensus that vaginal births are safer and carry fewer risks that C-sections yet the rate of C-sections continues to grow.  To find out why researchers in Ireland reviewed 34 studies involving almost 9,000 obstetricians and midwives from 20 countries.

They found that the fear of being sued over a complicated vaginal delivery was a major and significant factor when deciding whether to perform a C-section.

Other big influences included the belief that C-sections are easier to schedule and plan, the mother’s preference, and the misperception that C-sections are safer.

Experts say more needs to be done to promote the benefits of vaginal births worldwide.

Dr. Mallika Marshall


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