The importance of post-partum family planning

The increase in caesarean section rates led the World Health Organization (WHO) to review the guidance from 1985 which stated that there is no justification for any region to have a rate higher than 10–15%. The WHO statement on caesarean section rates from 2015 highlights that caesarean sections are effective in saving maternal and infant lives, but only when they are required for medically indicated reasons; that at population level, caesarean section rates higher than 10% are not associated with reductions in maternal and newborn mortality rates; and that the effects of caesarean section rates on other outcomes, such as maternal and perinatal morbidity, paediatric outcomes, and psychological or social well-being, are still unclear and more research is needed to understand the health effects of caesarean section on immediate and future outcomes. In addition, caesarean sections that are medically unjustified increase health care costs unnecessarily. This editorial provides an overview of necessary steps that can be taken by countries world- wide to avert maternal and childhood deaths.

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