By Sharon Kirkey, Canwest News Service
Forty years ago in Canada, five per cent of babies were delivered by caesarean. Today the rate is 28 per cent nationally, and more than 30 per cent in B.C. and P.E.I. More than 78,000 C-sections were performed in Canada last year.
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada says a C-section should not be offered to a pregnant woman unless there is a valid medical reason to perform one.
But the University of B.C.-led study found that 42 per cent of obstetricians were in favour of a woman's right to choose a C-section for herself, even in the absence of a medical indication.
Overall, 549 obstetricians, 897 family physicians, 545 nurses, 400 midwives and 192 doulas from across Canada were surveyed in 2008-2009 on their attitudes toward labour and birth. The study was done against a background of a "technological transformation of birth," the researchers say — rising C-section rates, more induced labours and routine use of epidural analgesia, or local anesthetic…