Almost one in five babies born in Denmark is delivered via caesarian, according to the latest data form the World Health Organization.
The figures mean that there are more C-section births carried out in Denmark than any other Scandinavian country. In Sweden, Norway and Finland the figure is at around 20 per cent, while in Iceland it is at 15 per cent.
Lillian Bondo, the head of the Danish midwife association Jordemoderforeningen, described it as “unfortunate” that Denmark was in first place, noting that it would be preferable to be below 20 per cent. However, she explained that there was a myth in Denmark that C-section births were less dangerous, which was not the case.
Bondo said that caesarian births were actually more dangerous for the mother and child because they could heighten the chances of the child developing obesity, diabetes, allergies and other health issues.
Despite Denmark being number one for caesarians in the Nordics, it still sits lower than the majority of countries in Europe, particular southern Europe, with Cyprus leading the way with 52 per cent.
C-section rates are also high and increasing in the Caribbean and South America. In Brazil, for example, caesarian births are viewed in a positive light as they make mothers feel more secure and save doctors time.
In 2007, the global average stood at 15 per cent, whereas it had gone up to 18.7 per cent last year.