The number of caesarean c-sections in England has risen again over the last year and now accounts for 25% of births recorded in the latest NHS maternity statistics.
The instrumental delivery rate is also on the up and is now 12.8% with a rise in forceps assisted birth to 6.5%.
While none of the increases are more than 1% on the previous year, there is concern that they are continuing to rise.
Louise Silverton, RCM director for midwifery, said: "We are concerned by the increase in the CS rate. It means that one in four women giving birth is having a CS, which is a major surgical procedure.
"There has also been a rise in the number of elective CSs, while the number of emergency CSs has remained stable. Questions must be asked as to what the driver is behind this increase in elective surgery."
The figures were released last week by the NHS and also show just 61.6% of women had a spontaneous delivery, an all-time low for the figure.
Ms Silverton added that the increase in complex births combined with continued baby boom is "having a dramatic effect on the workload heaped on already overstretched midwives".
Other key facts revealed in the statistics included:
- the number of deliveries taking place in NHS hospitals remained stable, increasing by 0.1% to 668,936.
- the percentage of deliveries medically induced has increased by 0.8%
- the percentage of delivery episodes ending on the same day as the delivery increased by 0.7% to 116,541
To view the full report visit www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/hospital-care/maternity/nhs-maternity-statistics-england-2011-2012
Posted 10/12/2012 by firstname.lastname@example.org