From the Herald yesterday:
The number of elective caesareans in New Zealand has risen from 7 per cent of total births a decade ago to more than 10 per cent in 2006, the latest Ministry of Health figures reveal.
Of the 14,362 caesareans performed that year, 60 per cent were urgent procedures, where the decision to operate was made during labour. The rest were elective, where the mother made the decision during pregnancy.
But that choice was still likely to be based on clinical reasons, said AUT University's head of midwifery Jackie Gunn. She said medical advances meant more women with conditions that carried a greater risk of complications were able to give birth.
And a policy shift which followed research showing caesareans were safer for breech babies - those born feet or buttocks first - also accounts for some of the increase.
Click through for the whole article, which includes brief interviews with two women, one who gave birth vaginally and the other by caesarean.
I was just relieved to see an article that for once didn't assume elective caesareans were too posh to pushers. Although I'm a little confused that they talk about the record number of C-sections without putting it in the context of a record number of births in general...