WHO worries about more caesarean section worldwide

The conclusion is clear. The World Health Organization (WHO) denounces a strong medicalization of births. This is because of an inadequate reference system concerning the pace of women’s work while they give birth. The international body is particularly concerned about the increase in the number of caesareans in the world and the trivialization of these practices. “Pregnancy is not a disease and birth is a normal phenomenon that you can expect the woman to do without intervention,” said Olufemi Oladapo, MD, WHO Reproductive Health Department. The doctor especially pointed to the increase in unnecessary medical interventions over the past two decades.

Since the 1950s, doctors must be alarmed when the pace of cervical dilation is slower than one centimeter per hour. When the medical staff notes a slow pace of work, “the tendency is to act”, either by means of a caesarean section or with the use of drugs such as oxytocin, which speed up the work, detailed the doctor on the 20 Minutes story. According to the new WHO guidelines, a woman who gives birth to her first child should not work more than 12 hours. The figure drops to less than 10 hours for subsequent pregnancies.

All these practices lead to an increase in the medicalization of deliveries, a phenomenon that the WHO wants to stem. From now on, WHO wants to repeal this reference by one centimeter per hour. “Recent research has shown that this line does not apply to all women and that every birth is unique,” said Olfemi Oladapo. The international body recommends that this threshold should not be used to identify women at risk.


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