One in four deliveries are caesarean

Almost one in four deliveries in England were by caesarean, according to NHS figures.

They show that 24.6% of deliveries (where the relevant information was recorded) in 2007/8 used this method, up 0.3% on 2006/7.

The number of deliveries in NHS hospitals increased 3.3% to 649,837.

A total of 36.5% of women had an epidural, general or spinal anaesthetic during labour compared with 35.8% the previous year.

A total of 44.7% of single live born babies born to white women in NHS hospitals in England weighed more than 7lb 7oz (3,500g). This compares with 35.1% of black women’s babies and 23.8% of Asian women’s babies.

Midwives conducted 60.3% of deliveries compared with 61.7% in 2006/7. Hospital doctors conducted 36.2% of deliveries (35% in 2006/7).

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