Some 19 percent of pregnancies in Iran are over the age of 35, said Hamed Barekati, the head of population, family and schools department at the Ministry of Health.
Currently, pregnant women who are over 35 receive special care, and if they have Diabetes or high blood pressure, they will be particularly examined, said Barekati in an interview with IRNA on Saturday.
“We advise there be at least a three-year gap between consecutive pregnancies but the gap shouldn’t be larger than five years because the mothers’ physical readiness for pregnancy will be reduced,” Barekati noted.
Caesarian delivery at 50%
“In early stages of healthcare reform plan, cesarean section rate was around 5 percent but with the remedial measures we took it has now lowered to 50 percent,” Barekati remarked.
Making natural child delivery cost-free and devising special labor, delivery, and recovery rooms (LDR) have been some measures taken to promote natural childbirth, he added.
Natural childbirth promotion package was part of the healthcare reform plan and began in the Iranian calendar year of 1384 (March 2005-March 2006).
Training courses preparing mothers for vaginal delivery was part of this promotion package, aiming to inform mothers the differences between the normal delivery and the caesarean section.
Caesarean section rate across the world
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), since 1985, the international healthcare community has considered the ideal rate for caesarean sections to be between 10-15 percent. Since then, caesarean sections have become increasingly common in both developed and developing countries.
When medically necessary, a caesarean section can effectively prevent maternal and newborn mortality. Two new HRP studies show that when caesarean section rates rise towards 10 percent across a population, the number of maternal and newborn deaths decreases. When the rate goes above 10 percent, there is no evidence that mortality rates improve.