Early guidance can help future moms fear of childbirth

Kathrin Stoll

Caesarean deliveries in most developed countries, including Canada, are at least 10 to 20 percent higher than recommended by the World Health Organization, and many efforts to decrease unnecessary C-sections have failed.  But a new University of British Columbia study suggests that providing women with early knowledge about pregnancy and childbirth could help reduce these numbers.

UBC researcher Kathrin Stoll studied young women from eight middle and high-income countries and found that at least 10 percent would prefer to deliver via caesarean even when the procedure is medically unnecessary, largely out of fear.  Eight out of 10 women surveyed cited worries about labour pain, and six out of 10 were anxious about perceived physical damage from labour and birth.