By Kate Pickles Health Correspondent For The Daily Mail
Published: 09:20 BST, 1 April 2019 | Updated: 09:21 BST, 1 April 2019
Older mothers who give birth by caesarean are three times more likely to experience severe complications than those who give birth naturally, a study found.
Those over 35 – classed as geriatric mothers – were at greater risk of serious complications such as haemorrhaging following childbirth if they underwent the surgical procedure.
Even in younger women, the chances of problems after a caesarean were 1.5 times higher for a mother than for vaginal births.
Experts said the findings raise serious questions over current guidelines for the procedure, particularly when it comes to older mothers.
One in every four pregnant women in the UK now has a caesarean birth, often when a natural birth is deemed too risky.
Older mothers - over the age of 35 - who give birth by caesarean are three times more likely to experience severe complications than those who give birth naturally, a study found
They can be life-saving interventions for both mother and child when complications occur, such as bleeding, foetal distress, hypertensive disease, and breech babies.
Rates have increased from 19.7 per cent in 2000 to 26.2 per cent in 2015, putting Britain among the highest performers in Western Europe.
Under NHS guidelines, expectant mothers are also entitled to request the procedure if they are fearful of a natural labour.
While avoiding some after effects of labour such as urinary incontinence, the procedure can lead to scarring of the womb, which heightens the risk of complications during future births.
Rising levels of obesity are also thought to have contributed to the increase.