In her Cyprus Mail report, 'Doctors defend C-sections figures', Alexia Saoulli writes: "Private doctors said last week they had been unfairly lambasted in the press for favouring c-sections over natural births. Recent reports of doctors “blackmailing” women into booking their delivery at convenient times prompted outpourings of outrage from women, government health authorities and lawmakers."
Dr George Leontiades, head of the Gynaecological Association: “If there is one doctor who encourages his patients to have c-sections you can’t make a generalisation that all doctors do it.” ...He said comparing Cyprus’ private c-section rate of 55% to England’s 25% was wrong... In England, in the private sector, the figures are almost as high as Cyprus,” he said.
...Leontiades said there were very many reasons why Cypriot women chose to have caesareans, starting from how affluent the country had become. “Affluence in societies affects c-section demand. Also women have a mistaken understanding of the hardship of labour. They don’t want to be put out. The way they have three cars, a big house and can buy everything in the supermarket, they think they shouldn’t suffer any hardship in bringing a child to life.”
...The doctor said there was also an increasing trend in repeat c-sections. He said most women who had a c-section for their first child wanted to follow the “tried and tested” method and “don’t want to embark on an adventure that will not guarantee they will have spontaneous vaginal delivery”.
...He said some doctors were also afraid of increased cerebral palsy risks during labour despite the fact that only one in 400 developed cerebral palsy, only 10 per cent of which accounted for events taken place during delivery. Nevertheless in a society where women only had one or two children, some doctors preferred not to chance it, he said."
Dr Gabriel Kalakoutis, a Nicosia’s Aretaeio hospital gynaecologist-obstetrician: "said although women were not encouraged to have a c-section, there was greater sensitivity to a woman’s wants. “A lot of women prefer to have a c-section because they are afraid of childbirth and the pain. I’m more prone to take the woman’s feelings into consideration and what makes her feel more psychologically comfortable. C-sections are much safer now, with very small risks and only slightly more dangerous than natural births.”
...Kalakoutis said the attitude that a c-section was a “failed” delivery no longer held true and that if there were medical indications for why one should be performed he no longer insisted on going the natural route.
...“Some women want to have a natural birth and I encourage that. If some are afraid and from the beginning think they want to have a c-section then I am more open to that. I don’t tell them from the beginning that they should have a c-section,” he said.
Numbers of women asking for cesareans in Cyprus
...The gynaecologist said in his experience four out of 10 pregnant women asked for c-sections. He also said culturally women had changed and were having fewer children. “Women have two or three children, not five or six. If they had that many caesareans it would be dangerous but up to two or three is safe,” he said."