In Australia, one in three women now give birth by caesarean section, while in countries such as China, the figure is over 50%. Natural births are becoming increasingly rare, and medical intervention during childbirth is rapidly becoming the norm.
The World Health Organisation has estimated the cost of unnecessary caesarean sections to be 2.3 billion US dollars annually, claiming in 2010 that rates of intervention over 15% could potentially be harmful.
So, is this growing trend reshaping society in unexpected ways?
Hannah Dahlen, Professor of Midwifery at the University of Western Sydney, joins us on the line to tell us more about the potential implications of this trend.
Producer: Francesca Krakue