In the first publication on the subject for 2010, researchers Robson et al in Australia have calculated that - even 'using the lowest estimate (8,553 women) in calculations, maternal request [cesareans] accounted for 17.3% of all elective cesareans and 3.2% of all births' in 2006.
'Estimating the Rate of Cesarean Section by Maternal Request: Anonymous Survey of Obstetricians in Australia' concludes that its 'findings support the hypothesis that maternal request cesareans make a significant contribution to the overall rate of cesarean deliveries in Australia.'
Rate expected to increase in future too
Of the 1,239 specialist obstetricians surveyed, it was estimated that between 8553 and 12,434 maternal request cesarean sections were performed in 2006, and the likelihood of specialists agreeing to perform maternal request cesarean deliveries was higher among those who were 10 or less years from qualification.
Of the 317 registered obstetric trainees (residents) surveyed, two-thirds expressed the intention of doing such cesareans in their future practice.
'The findings of a recent population-based study in Australia suggested that elective cesarean delivery of a singleton pregnancy at term without medical or obstetric indications (cesarean delivery by maternal request) may represent a significant proportion of cesarean births in that country... [read more here].