| 6.3°C Dublin

C-sections higher for mums who go private

WOMEN in private maternity hospitals undergo more Caesarean sections than those in public, representative groups believe.

The Association for Irish Medical Services said that there needs to be "transparent" information about the rate of intervention and C-section during childbirth.

"Women need as much information as possible in order to make right decisions," said spokeswoman Krysia Lynch.

"Different women want different things. Some look to have an elective section but it is difficult to find out about that.

"So women end up taking pot luck about their birthing plan, they ask all their friends, ask anyone else about what is best for them."

A representative study in Australia showed that while 35pc of women gave birth without any intervention in public hospitals, this dropped to 15pc in private hospitals.

A landmark study of nearly 700,000 women in New South Wales hospitals, found that those giving birth privately had a 20pc lower chance of delivering their first child through normal birth.

The suggestion is that there is a rise in C-section levels in private hospitals or the idea of women being "too posh to push".

But Ms Lynch said that there are many reasons why there is an increased level.

"A lot of women who chose private care with a consultant have an issue - they may have had a previously difficult birth, they are maybe older and feel like they want a consultant.

"When a woman has paid €5,000 to ¤7,000 to have private care, there is an assumption there that you will get something for that.

"Sometimes women say that they want to be induced on this date so that they know that the consultant going to be there. The more intervention there is, the higher risk of C-section."

clairemurphy@herald.ie


Privacy