National Enquiry into Labour and Birth

Birth in Brazil

Caesarean rates are rising systematically in the world. Currently in Brazil, over half of births are by caesarean section. It is estimated that in 2013 the rate of caesarean sections in the country has reached 56%. The global caesarean rate is approximately 18%, making Brazil a champion in terms of caesareans.

Introduced into clinical practice as a procedure to save the life of both mother and baby, we know that it’s unnecessary use can cause harm. For women, compared to normal birth, C-sections increase the risk of complications such as haemorrhage, infections, surgical and anaesthetic accidents, maternal and perinatal death, and cause damages to future reproductive life. For babies, it increases the risk of intrauterine and neonatal death, raises the risk of preterm birth and risk of respiratory complications during the first days of life, and use of mechanical ventilation. In the long term, it increases the risk of childhood asthma, overweight children, obesity, diabetes and hypertension in adult life.

The research Birth in Brazil: a national survey on labour and birth is the first national study of epidemiological basis depicting childbirth care, becoming a photograph of birth in Brazil and constituting a baseline for monitoring the Stork Network.