C-section deliveries or a Caesarean delivery is a surgical procedure that involves incisions in the abdomen and the uterus of the patient in order to deliver the child. The technique should only be used in difficult births, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations.

According to data obtained Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare under the Health Management Information System (HMIS), more than 14 percent of total births in 2018-19 took place in public hospitals through a C-section that makes about 19 lakh births out of a total of 1.3 crore. In 2008-09, the public hospitals registered a total of 73.13 lakh C- section births, of which 4.61 lakh which makes it just a little over 6 percent. C-sections quadrupled from 4 lakh in 2008-09 to 20.5 lakh in 2018-19 in private hospitals. Such operations accounted for 17% of overall births in private hospitals a decade ago, now rising to 33.8%. This means India has registered a jump of over 300 percent in C-section deliveries at public hospitals, and 400 percent in private hospitals in the last decade

“C-section is a demand-driven by monetary incentives by the manufacturer which is a doctor having insufficient information about the procedure and sells the idea of having a C-section to a patient.  India is experiencing an outbreak of C-sections owing to the unregulated market and no specific guidelines said health economist Mukhopadhyay.

Several sections also branded C-section procedures as “medically unjustified.” This implies slower breastfeeding for the infant, lower weight at birth, respiratory problems, higher hospitalization levels, lower Apgar scores, and its long-term consequences, reports a study done by IIM Ahmedabad.

“If not abused, C-section is a medical boon when there are complications in natural, vaginal delivery due to a variety of reasons such as abnormal positioning of the child,” said Dr. Subhasri B, a gynecologist who works with a civil society group, CommonHealth, on maternal issues.

“If not violated, C-section is a surgical aid when problems arise in ordinary, vaginal delivery due to a variety of factors such as infant irregular placement,” said Dr. Subhasri B, a gynecologist who works on maternal concerns with a civil society organization, CommonHealth.