Photo courtesy of Novinite
The highest EU C-section rate, combined with the financial crisis, still didn’t prevent Italy from reducing mother loss by 65% in the last 20 years.
We were unable to find an adequate explanation for why Italy has been able to succeed so well at reducing maternal loss despite these challenges, but we applaud those working in health care systems for maintaining such a high level of care. While the financial crisis is not over and more service cuts may be required, we hope that the politicians will consider the progress made thus far and not regress.
While the services to prevent mother loss appear to be quite adequate, there is still a troubling trend leading to higher C-sections rates in Italy. Higher C-section rates frequently give rise to higher maternal mortality rates, due to increased risk of infection and clotting. Currently, nearly 40% of all Italian mothers have a C-section. Not all of them desire this course of action. In a nationally representative survey, 4 out of 5 women indicated that they would prefer to opt out of a C-section birth if they were able to do so. Contributing to these higher rates was pressure from physicians and the culture, and a general lack of education and knowledge about the real impact of C-section births on the health of both the mother and child.123