The proportion of caesarean births at Tauranga Hospital has increased more than 4 per cent in the past five years.

Bay of Plenty District Health Board figures showed there were 1649 births at Tauranga Hospital in the 2014/15 financial year and of those 534 caesareans were carried out - 32.4 per cent.

In the 2010/11 financial year 544 of the 1927 births were by caesarean, only 28.2 per cent.

This year is on track to be even higher with 34.7 per cent of the 1391 births recorded as at May 15 carried out by caesarean.


Bay of Plenty District Health Board midwifery leader Margret Norris said the decision to do a caesarean section was based on a number of factors including a labour not progressing, foetal distress or the position of the baby.

Elective caesarean sections were based on previous obstetric history of the woman, medical history, position of the baby and the condition of the baby.

"Women do not get a caesarean section for social reasons."

As a surgical procedure, caesarean sections came with risks, such as around the anaesthetic or risk of infection, Ms Norris said.

The only benefit was if there was a high risk to the mother or baby to continue having the baby naturally.