Insight Caesarean Births Rise

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Why are more Australian women having Caesarean sections?

The rate is up 50% over the last decade. But why? Are women themselves opting for caesareans over a natural birth?

A government review of maternity services has just been published and found that the needs of all Australian women are not being met. The case for change is unarguable, it says, and a new national plan is due to be announced later in the year.

So how babies are born in Australia is set to change. But what's wrong with the system we have now and what is likely to replace it? A greater role for midwives has been recommended but who is best placed to care for pregnancy and birth? What can we learn from New Zealand where midwives oversee around 80% of pregnancies?

Jenny Brockie will be joined in a studio full of pregnant women by the Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon, obstetricians, midwives and GPs to hear a range of personal accounts of what it's like to give birth today.

So join INSIGHT 'Birth' as we ask: what real choices do women have, from elective Caesareans to homebirth? Do they know the risks? And with the cost of healthcare rising, what can we afford?