Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 236
Increasing Trend in Caesarean Section Delivery in
India: Role of Medicalisation of Maternal Health
The paper tries to throw light on the current trends in c-section delivery in India. In developed and developing countries, including India, increasing use of medical technologies during childbirth is a matter of concern. It is evident that the development and application of reproductive technologies is creating contradictory possibilities for women. With the increasing numbers of institutionalised births in India, the trend of c-section delivery is also sharply rising. The objectives of the present study are to explore the situation in caesarean delivery in India and analyse the determinants for the preference of caesarean delivery. The paper will explore the relationship between the factors influencing the decision for c-section delivery and the demand for it. An attempt has also been made to emphasise the ongoing debates emerging in the field of medical sociology and population health, regarding the increasing trend. For the study, data has been analysed based on NFHS-I to NFHS-III (1992-93 to 2005-06). Both bivariate and multivariate analyses have been carried out. It is clear from the data that caesarean delivery is more than 10 per cent in many states. This is indication of an impending public health problem. In some states like Kerala, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Tamil Nadu, the rate is alarmingly high. States with demographic transition as well as high institutionalised births show a higher trend in c-section delivery. The bi-variate and multivariate analyses show that non-medical factors are important determinants for the performance of this medical procedure.