Sinn Féin MLA and member of the health committee Mickey Brady has said that the welfare of the child and mother must be paramount in deciding whether to carry out caesarean sections during childbirth.
Mr Brady stated,
“I welcome the latest report into the number of caesarean sections carried out in the North as it highlights the need to review maternity services across the North
“While the report shows that we are above the average we need to ensure that the welfare of the mother and child are paramount in bringing about any changes.
“A caesarean section costs the health service about twice as much as a natural birth so while the promotion of natural birth would save the health service money it needs to be done with the safety of mother and child in mind.
“I am more worried to hear that many of the caesarean sections may be carried out because of lack of staff being available for a long labour, which may pressurise mothers into having a caesarean section rather than a prolonged natural birth.
“We need to seek the answers as to why the North has such a high percentage of sections and why there is a discrepancy in figures across the North with my own area having the highest with 36% which is well above the average figure.
“I welcome the need to rationalise the way these figures are collected and will be raising the future of maternity services at the committee.”