For the first time since 2010, the number of cesarean sections in the public and private healthcare network has not grown in the country. Data released today (Mar. 10) by the Ministry of Health show that this procedure, which has been in an upward curve, dropped 1.5 percentage point in 2015. Of the 3 million deliveries made in Brazil in the period, 55.5% were by C-section and 44.5% were normal births.
Data also show that, considering only deliveries performed in Brazil's Unified Health Care System (SUS), the percentage of normal births remains higher—59.8% against 40.2% of C-section. According to the ministry, last year preliminary data indicate a stabilization in the number of C-section, at around 55.5%.
This week, the government announced new guidelines for care in normal birth, which will be used for consultation by health providers and pregnant women. "From now on, every woman will have the right to define her birth plan, which will have information on the place where she will give birth, guidelines, and benefits of the normal birth for example," reported the ministry.
According to the health ministry report, these guidelines are designed to ensure pregnant women are treated with respect by health providers and empower them to make more informed childbirth choices. “This means childbirth will be dealt with less like a set of methods and more like a vital mother-and-baby moment,” it went on.
The ministry credited the stabilization in the number of C-sections in Brazil to such policies as the Rede Cegonha (Stork Network) mother-and-baby care program; investment in 15 birth centers; qualification of high-risk maternity hospitals; a larger presence of midwifery nurses at the delivery scene, and a closer role of the National Regulatory Agency for Private Health Insurance and Plans (ANS) at delivery method decision-making.
In 2016, the health ministry published a Clinical Protocol with C-Section Care Guidelines outlining the standards that should be adhered to by health services. It is designed to guide health workers and help them avoid unnecessary C-sections, since inappropriately recommended cesareans carry higher respiratory risks for newborns and higher risks of maternal and infant death.
Translated by Amarílis Anchieta / Mayra Borges
Fonte: Number of C-section deliveries going down in Brazil