China’s one-child policy is contributing to “soaring numbers” of women who choose to have their single child by Caesarean section, the Wall Street Journal has found. Despite risks of complications and prematurity, the World Health Organisation estimates that 47% of all infants in China are delivered by C-section, compared with 20% only 10 years ago. The World Health Organization recommends that the rate be no higher than 10 to 15%.
There are several reasons for the huge increase. Many women believe that C-sections are more reliable and safer if they can only have one child. They also allow women to choose the date of birth, which is very significant in Chinese culture. And the country’s increasing wealth tempts people to demand the best treatment money can buy.
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