Caesarean section births for twins: rational choice, or a non‐evidence‐based intervention that may cause harm?

David A Ellwood
Med J Aust 2020; 212 (2): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.50454
Published online: 3 February 2020

The change from vaginal births to operative births may entail unforeseen longer term consequences

The benefits and risks of birth by caesarean section are debated, with passionate proponents on each side of the discussion.1 The most recent national data (for 2017) indicate that in Australia more than one‐third of babies (35%) were born after caesarean section.2 While its safety has undoubtedly improved, it is still reported that greater maternal and perinatal morbidity and mortality are associated with caesarean section than with vaginal births.3 The longer term health outcomes for mother and child are also important.4 In this issue of the MJA, Liu and her colleagues5 report that the caesarean rate for twin pregnancies in Victoria has almost tripled over the past three decades, and that the most frequent reason for operative intervention was the twin pregnancy itself. It is pertinent to examine the reasons for this trend and to ask whether it is justified.

  • David A Ellwood1,2

  • 1 Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD
  • 2 Gold Coast University Hospital, Gold Coast, QLD


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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