Brazil introduces new law to curb high rate of caesarean procedure in country

The new rules oblige doctors to inform women about the risks and ask them to sign a consent form before performing a caesarean.

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Brazil has established new rules which are aimed at reducing the country's high number of caesarean births.

Based on this, doctors will also have to justify why a caesarean was necessary.

In addition, doctors will have to fill in a complete record of how the labour and birth developed and explain their actions.

Each pregnant woman will now be assigned medical notes which record the history of her pregnancy, which she can take with her if she changes doctors.

According to the country, the new rules are designed to reduce unnecessary surgical procedures, and ensure pregnant women are aware of the risks associated with caesareans.

Statistics reveal that 85% of all births in Brazilian private hospitals are caesareans and in public hospitals the figure is 45%.

Citing the reason for the increased number of caesarean procedures, experts say that a scarcity of maternity beds and wards equipped to deal with natural births leaves many women in Brazil with the option of caesarean birth.

According to Pedro Octavio de Britto Pereira, an obstetrician and professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro,

"The best way to guarantee yourself a bed in a good hospital is to book a caesarean,"

According to BBC, there have been numerous reports of women going into labour without a caesarean scheduled and being forced to travel from hospital to hospital in search of a bed.

Researchers say many women also see caesareans as more civilised and modern, and natural birth as primitive, ugly and inconvenient, moreso in a body conscious society such as Brazil, women think natural birth can make women sexually unattractive.

Also, many doctors prefer caesareans too, as they can plan the time of a birth, and feel more protected from litigation.

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