Caesarean section rates in subgroups of women and perinatal outcomes

J. Zhang, C. Geerts, Chantal W. Hukkelhoven, P. Offerhaus, J. Zwart, A. de Jonge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


ObjectivesTo identify factors that are associated with a relatively low caesarean section (CS) rate by examining the CS rate in various subgroups in the Netherlands. DesignCross-sectional analysis. Settingsthe Netherlands. PopulationA total of 685452 births in the Netherlands Perinatal Registry from 2007 to 2010. MethodsA modified classification system for CS was used to categorise all women into ten groups. Labour management, mode of delivery, maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality were assessed according to these ten groups. Main outcome measuresCaesarean section, labour induction, instrumental delivery, postpartum haemorrhage, perineal laceration, duration of second stage of labour, Apgar score, fetal and neonatal mortality. ResultsTotal CS rate was 15.6%. Term, nulliparous and parous women with a singleton pregnancy of a fetus in cephalic position and spontaneous onset of labour had CS rates of 9.6 and 1.9% and instrumental birth rates of 19.4 and 2.4%, respectively; 17.3% of births were induced. Among women with a previous CS and term, singleton pregnancies with a fetus in cephalic presentation, 71% had trial of labour, of which 75% had a successful vaginal birth. Of women with multiple gestation, 43% had CS. Women with CS due to failure to progress' in the second stage of labour had a median duration of second-stage pushing of almost 2hours in nulliparas and >90minutes in parous women. ConclusionsSeveral obstetric practice patterns may have contributed to the relatively low overall CS rate in the Netherlands: a relatively low CS rate in term, singleton pregnancies of a fetus in cephalic position and spontaneous onset of labour, relatively low rate of labour induction, a high rate of a trial of labour after a previous CS, the use of vacuum and forceps, and a high proportion of women being taken care of by midwives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)754-761
Number of pages8
JournalBJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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