In developed countries, caesarean section (CS) rates continue to escalate and in Ireland nearly one in three women are now delivered by CS. The purpose of this study was to compare the management of women after one previous CS in two large Dublin maternity hospitals with the management in two other well-resourced countries. Data were analysed for Dublin, Massachusetts in the United States, and Hesse in Germany. It was found that since 1990, the CS rate in Dublin has increased by much more than in the other areas. This increase may be explained by the precipitous fall in the vaginal birth after CS rate because the rates in Massachusetts and Hesse in 1990 were initially much lower. Changes in the clinical management of women with one previous CS are a major contributor to the rising CS rates and are likely to be an ongoing driver of CS rates unless clinical practices evolve.
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