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Cesareans on the rise in Iran

05/11/10 Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran

Based on the recent official statistics the cesarean birth rate, especially unnecessary cesareans, are increasing in the country, said a member of Supreme Council of Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC). Maternal mortality risk rises with cesarean birth, Noushin Zendehzaban warned.

Referring to the decrease in Iran's maternal mortality rates, and the midwives' role in such a reduction, Zendehzaban called the reduction a great success for the Iranian society of midwives.

Iran's considerable efforts in reducing infant and maternal mortality rate have been highly praised by the UN officials, Zendehzaban added.

According to the international standards, she said, there is a need for 30-50 midwives per 1000 natural births.

"In case of meeting the standards, there will be job guarantees for our midwifery graduates and the number of cesarean births will consequently decrease, she said.

She also blamed not taking advantage of modern techniques for the rise in number of unnecessary cesareans in the country.

About 22% of Iranian women are in their childbearing years, and 48% are girls under the age of 15, therefore, empowerment of the midwifery may lead to the health of two third of Iranian population, Zendehzaban stressed.

Midwives are autonomous practitioners who are specialists in low-risk pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum, she explained, adding that they generally strive to help women to have a healthy pregnancy and natural birth experience and provide consultations for girls at the age of puberty.

Zendehzaban further described offering care to childbearing women during their pregnancy, labor and birth, and during the postpartum period, caring for the newborn through to six weeks of age, including assisting the mother with breastfeeding, and offering family planning programs as main duties of the midwives.

The standards of development of a country are estimated today based on its infant and mother mortality rates, so midwives are bound to keep mothers and child healthy.

In the case of midwives presence at the early stage of pregnancy, pregnancy problems will be reduced and therefore cure expenditures will be restricted, she maintained.

She described promotion of the scientific knowledge of midwives and focusing on their rights as a necessity.

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