This is taken from a booklet produced by the NHS in the UK and distributed to the general public in order to explain the current guidelines on CS.
"During your pregnancy your midwife or doctor
should give you information about birth that
is based on the best available research evidence.
You should be offered this information in a
form that suits you if you have extra needs –
if, for example, you do not speak or read
English or if you have a disability. It should
include accurate information about caesarean
• common reasons for needing a caesarean
• what the procedure involves
• the risks and benefits of caesarean section
compared with vaginal birth
• how having a caesarean section might affect
any future pregnancies
• how having a caesarean section might
affect your chances of having a vaginal
birth in future.
Your midwife or doctor should encourage you
to ask questions if there is anything you do not
understand, and discuss them with you."http://www.nice.org.uk/pdf/CG013publicinfoenglish.pdf
The full guidance runs to over a hundred pages and contains huge amounts of data and references on which the guidance is based. A friend recently had a planned cs due to complications outside her control and was scared witless by the pre op discussion with the anaesthetist who laid out all the possible problems. This reinforces the guideline's message that cs is a big deal and not to be considered lightly but despite this rates are rising here too especially in private hospitals in London. Posh Spice aka Victoria Beckham wife of the footballer David is the UK's "too posh to push" ambassador and many other major or minor celebrities have also 'chosen' this route.
You can find out the cs rates for any hospital in the UK here
This is my local hospital
, which defends its rates because it is a centre for high risk pregnancies which require more interventions. Women come from all over a wide area to have their pregnacies monitored and many of these will have planned cs.
What is shocking to me is that the national average for unassisted vaginal delivery is only 46%.
Is there any similarly easy to access data for the US?