Maternity care providers’ attitudes towards caesarean sections in Ireland, a cross-sectional survey

on 26 August 2021

Researchers in Ireland have conducted a study into the attitudes towards caesarean sections from maternity care providers in the country.

The study, published in the Women and Birth journal found that almost three-quarters of maternity care providers felt elective caesarean sections are not the safest option for women and their baby.

97% said that the caesarean section rate in their maternity unit was “high”, and 85% considered birth a “natural process” and should not be interfered with unless a caesarean section was necessary.

45% believed that elective caesarean sections should be given to a woman if this is what they want.

The research was conducted by researchers at the School of Nursing and Midwifery at Trinity College in Dublin.

152 maternity care providers responded to the survey that included midwives, nurses, obstetricians, and allied healthcare professionals.

One response to the survey said: “I believe in a mother’s choice but only once fully informed about the risks and benefits. I feel that a full medical and society history is important before deciding if a mother can request an elective CS.”

A midwife who responded to the survey said: “Working in private postnatal, I feel women usually elect for LSCS [lower (uterine) segment caesarean section] due to lack of education, many not prepared for pain and recovery time, some women not aware they will bleed post LSCS etc. Education sessions with a midwife would reduce the amount election for LSCS/ prepare women more for recovery from LSCS.”

In the conclusion of the research is says: “This survey offers insight into clinicians’ attitudes towards CS in Ireland. The findings are both consistent with and contrasting towards evidence-based information on CS internationally.

One-third of all births in the study sites are currently by CS. The findings of this study can be considered contextually in addressing these high CS rates. They additionally have wider relevance in understanding the beliefs held about CS by maternity professionals in general.”