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Cesarean and Vaginal Birth in Canadian Women: A Comparison of Experiences

Authors

  • Beverley Chalmers DSc (Med), PhD,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Janusz Kaczorowski PhD,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Elizabeth Darling RM, MSc,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Maureen Heaman RN, PhD,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Deshayne B. Fell MSc,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Beverley O’Brien RM, DNSc,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • Lily Lee BN, MPH, MSN,

    1. Beverley Chalmers is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Affiliate Investigator at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, University of Ottawa, Ontario; Janusz Kaczorowski is Professor and Research Director of the Department of Family Practice, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia; Elizabeth Darling is Assistant Professor in the Midwifery Education Program, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario; Maureen Heaman is Professor and Canadian Institutes of Health Research Chair in Gender and Health, Faculty of Nursing, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba; Deshayne Fell is Epidemiologist in the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; Beverley O’Brien is Professor in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta; and Lily Lee is a Perinatal Nurse Consultant at the British Columbia Perinatal Health Program, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
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  • for the Maternity Experiences Study Group of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System

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    • All authors are members of the Maternity Experiences Study Group of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System, Public Health Agency of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada (http://www.publichealth.gc.ca/mes).


Address correspondence to Beverley Chalmers, DSc (Med), PhD, PO Box 21091, RPO Princess, Kingston, Ontario K7L5P5, Canada.

Abstract

Abstract:  Background:  Many publications have examined the reasons behind the rising cesarean delivery rate around the world. Women’s responses to the Maternity Experiences Survey of the Canadian Perinatal Surveillance System were examined to explore correlates of having a cesarean section on other experiences surrounding labor, birth, mother-infant contact, and breastfeeding.

Methods:  A randomly selected sample of 8,244 estimated eligible women stratified primarily by province and territory was drawn from the May 2006 Canadian Census. Completed responses were obtained from 6,421 women (78%).

Results:  Three-quarters of the women (73.7%) gave birth vaginally and 26.3 percent by cesarean section, including 13.5 percent with a planned cesarean and 12.8 percent with an unplanned cesarean. In addition to more interventions in labor, women who had a cesarean birth after attempting a vaginal birth had less mother-infant contact after birth and less optimal breastfeeding practices.

Conclusion:  Findings from the Maternity Experiences Survey indicated that women who have cesarean births experience more interventions during labor and birth and have less optimal birthing and early parenting outcomes. (BIRTH 37:1 March 2010)

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