Monday, April 4, 2011

Cesarean Rates Up, Stillbirth and Neonatality Mortality Rates Down

And that's a headline you're unlikely to read anywhere else today...

CMACE (Centre for Maternal and Child Enquiries) has published its latest report: Perinatal Mortality 2009, and reported that since 2000, stillbirth and neonatal mortality rates in the United Kingdom have shown a downward trend.

Now, although we also know that cesarean rates during this time have shown an upward trend, I'm not going to sit here and make an absolute connection between the two - but I guarantee that had the CMACE report reported the opposite news today (i.e. increasing stillbirth and neonatality mortality rates), virtually all commentary in the news would have mentioned the fact that cesarean rates are also rising.

The Data: In 2009 there were 790,781 live births in the UK.
There were 4,125 stillbirths, 6,070 perinatal deaths and 2,511 neonatal deaths.

RCOG press release: Dr Tony Falconer, President of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said, “Every stillbirth is a tragic event. This report highlights a promising downward trend of perinatal mortality over the last ten years. However, worryingly, the numbers of perinatal deaths linked to rising obesity is high.

“Maternal obesity is a key public health concern and pregnant women who are obese need to know about the possible risks to them and their baby. The ideal situation of course would be for women to maintain a healthy weight before they fall pregnant to ensure the best outcome for them and their babies. Therefore, it is vitally important for women to be encouraged to lead healthy lifestyles throughout their lives and they can get good information from their GPs on diet, nutrition and exercise.”

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