National Geographic : 2016 Apr
BAHAMAS AZERBAIJAN AUSTRIA AUSTRALIA ARMENIA ARGENTINA ANGOLA ALGERIA ALBANIA AFGHANISTAN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA BOLIVIA BHUTAN BELIZE BELGIUM BELARUS BAHRAIN CANADA CAMEROON CAMBODIA CABO VERDE BURUNDI BURKINA FASO BULGARIA BRUNEI BOTSWANA CROATIA COSTA RICA CONGO COMOROS COLOMBIA CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC EL SALVADOR ECUADOR DJIBOUTI DENMARK CZECH REPUBLIC CYPRUS CUBA HONDURAS HAITI GUYANA GUINEA-BISSAU GUINEA GUATEMALA GREECE GHANA GERMANY JAMAICA ISRAEL IRELAND INDONESIA INDIA 25 million births 8.2% HUNGARY LEBANON LATVIA LAOS KUWAIT JORDAN MALDIVES MALAYSIA MADAGASCAR MACEDONIA LUXEMBOURG LITHUANIA LIBYA LIBERIA LESOTHO MOZAMBIQUE MOROCCO MONTENEGRO MAURITIUS MAURITANIA NORWAY NICARAGUA NEW ZEALAND NETHERLANDS NAMIBIA MYANMAR (BURMA) QATAR PORTUGAL POLAND PHILIPPINES PERU PARAGUAY PAPUA NEW GUINEA PANAMA PAKISTAN OMAN SOUTH SUDAN SOMALIA SOLOMON ISLANDS SLOVENIA SLOVAKIA SINGAPORE SIERRA LEONE SERBIA SYRIA SWITZERLAND SWEDEN SWAZILAND SURINAME SRI LANKA UKRAINE TUNISIA TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TOGO TIMOR-LESTE (EAST TIMOR) THAILAND VENEZUELA VANUATU URUGUAY U.A.E . ZIMBABWE GEORGIA GAMBIA GABON FINLAND FIJI ESTONIA ERITREA EQUATORIAL GUINEA SENEGAL SAUDI ARABIA SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE RWANDA KYRGYZSTAN KAZAKHSTAN JAPAN MONGOLIA NORTH KOREA SOUTH KOREA TAJIKISTAN TURKMENISTAN UZBEKISTAN ROMANIA CHILE 60 No data 0 20 30 40 50 DOMINICAN REPUBLIC 0.2 million 56.4% MOLDOVA BENIN BANGLADESH BRAZIL 3 million 55.6% CÔTE D'IVOIRE (IVORY COAST) CHAD EGYPT 2.5 million 51.8% DEM. REP. OF THE CONGO ITALY IRAQ IRAN KENYA MALAWI MEXICO MALI NIGERIA 7.1 million 2.0% NIGER NEPAL SOUTH AFRICA TANZANIA SUDAN SPAIN UGANDA TURKEY ZAMBIA YEMEN VIETNAM UNITED STATES 4 million births 32.8% cesarean U.K. FRANCE ETHIOPIA CHINA 16.6 million 27.2% cesarean RUSSIA Percentage of births by cesarean section MATTHEW TWOMBLY. SOURCE: WHO In 2014 nearly one in five pregnant women worldwide delivered babies by cesar- ean section. The original purpose of the procedure, in which the baby is removed through the uterus and abdomen, was to avoid life-threatening complications that can arise during vaginal births. Yet rates of C-sections in some countries are substantially higher than the 10 percent rate the World Health Organization associates with preventing the deaths of mothers and newborns. Why do some countries see so many C-sections? WHO medical officer Ana Pilar Betrán says factors favoring the procedure include families’ and doctors’ expectations of achieving safer outcomes and avoiding long or painful labors. High rates, such as in Brazil, also can reflect a desire to time births more predict- ably, while low rates can indicate reduced access to medical care. As doctors and expectant mothers reevaluate the benefits of delivering through the birth canal, C-section rates could decline, Betrán says. —Daniel Stone How the World Gives Birth BRAZIL The country with one of the highest C-section rates (55.6%) launched a public health campaign in 2015 to promote natural births. FINLAND The lowest rate among developed countries (14.7%) is likely a product of midwife-led deliveries and strict clinical protocols. EGYPT Its rate (51.8%) is growing fast, as more women ask for C-sections and doctors try to avoid medical and legal complications. AFRICAN NATIONS Less than 1.6% of babies in Niger, Chad, and Ethiopia are delivered via C-section, largely owing to a shortage of care facilities.