According to the latest WHO figures, almost every fifth baby in Denmark is delivered via caesarian, making it the Scandinavian country with the highest rate of C-section births.
Norway, Sweden and Finland all have lower C-section birth rates than Denmark, as does Iceland with a rate of just 15 percent.
“Unfortunately, we are in first place. In most Nordic countries the figure is under 20 percent, which is preferable,” Lillian Bondo, the head of the midwife association Jordemoderforeningen, told DR Nyheder.
“But in Denmark there had been a myth that caesarian births are less dangerous than natural births. But that’s not correct.”
Bondo argues that caesarian births are not only dangerous to the mother and child, but also lead to the child having an increased risk of developing allergies, obesity, diabetes and other health issues.
Denmark still performs much better than most other nations in Europe, where high rates of caesarian births are particular prevalent in southern Europe. In Cyprus, the rate is a staggering 52 percent.
Caesarian rates are also high and on the rise in South America and the Caribbean. In Brazil, for instance, there is prestige attached to a caesarian birth, as it saves doctors time and the mothers feel more secure.
The global average has increased from 15 percent in 2007 to 18.7 percent in 2014.