SEOUL, Apr. 8 (Korea Bizwire) — Four in 10 South Korean women delivered their babies through cesarean sections, with the numbers going up with the age of the mother giving birth, data showed Monday.
According to the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (KIHASA), 42.3 percent of mothers opted to use surgery to have their babies, with 57.7 percent opting for natural births.
The findings were based on 1,784 women between 15 and 49 who delivered babies from 2016 through 2018.
The number of C-sections is up 3.2 percentage points from 39.1 percent tallied in the 2015 report, the institute said.
The latest findings showed that older mothers decided to undergo surgery more than younger women.
The proportion of C-sections for mothers who were 25 or younger stood at 38.2 percent in the cited period, with this going up to 38.6 percent for those between 25 and 29.
Numbers rose slightly to 39.7 percent for mothers from 30 through 34 but shot up to 46.6 percent for women between the ages of 35 and 39 and skyrocketed to 64.8 percent for those from 40-45.
KIHASA said that 48.3 percent of women had their first babies through cesarean delivery but this dropped to 37.2 percent for their second and third babies.
It said that C-section deliveries were most common in rural areas at 46.9 percent, with corresponding numbers for big cities falling to 38.7 percent.
“The high percentage for rural areas may have to do with less developed health and medical infrastructure,” the state-run institute said.
The latest findings then showed that 80.7 percent of women had their babies in hospitals, with 10.8 percent giving birth in large general hospitals and the rest having babies in small clinics, with the help of midwives, or community health centers.