The NSW government reveals on Sunday that the number of women with diabetes during pregnancy and giving birth via caesarean delivery has increased. As reported by the Mothers and Babies 2015, the rate of gestational diabetes is now at 8.3 percent while caesarean births increased to 32.4 percent.
In comparison the rate of gestational diabetes in 2011 was just 6.4 percent. Meanwhile, caesarean birth accounted for 31.3 percent of mode of delivery in 2011. Diabetes is one of the most common causes for induced labor in 2015. Induced labor increased from 26.5 percent in 2011 to 30.5 percent in 2015 while spontaneous labor decreased from 39.4 percent in 2011 down to 36 percent in 2015, the Sydney Morning Herald reports.
According to Jonathan Morris, who is among the NSW Health maternal and perinatal advisory committee, the reason for the increased rate of diabetes in pregnancy is associated with the changes in how to diagnose and screen the condition. Compared in 2011, the blood sugar level that suggests gestational diabetes is now lower.
Risk factors such as old age and increased BMI also increase the risk of gestational diabetes. Overall, in 2011, normal vaginal birth was rated at 56.9 percent but it fell down to 56 percent in 2015. Mothers with private health insurance are more likely to choose to deliver their baby via caesarean birth. These women’s rate of caesarean section increased to 43 percent from 40.4 percent.
The Mothers and Babies 2015 report also shows that women are getting pregnant at an older age compared to in the past. Teen pregnancy has also decreased, the report revealed. Last year, 35.3 percent of women having babies were between the ages of 30 and 34 years old.
There were also 268 women with ages over 45 years that became pregnant last year, a number higher than the 224 recorded in 2011. Women smoking during their pregnancy has also decreased. In 2011, 11 percent smoked while pregnant but in 2015, only 8.9 percent of women smoked during pregnancy.