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From VOA Learning English, this is the Health Report.
The World Health Organization, or WHO, says the use of surgical childbirth is growing worldwide. Surgical childbirth is when a woman gives birth with the help of an operation, also called a Caesarean section. WHO officials say the operation is becoming especially popular in what they call high- and middle-income countries. Doctors may advise a Caesarean birth, also known as a C-section, when normal childbirth would put the mother or the baby at risk. But the WHO says it is concerned about the possible abuse of this life-saving surgery. It supports C-sections when they are justified medically because it can save lives. But the WHO says when C-sections are performed without medical need, mothers and their babies are put at risk. Health experts say the ideal rate for C-sections is between 10 and 15 percent of all births. New studies show when the rates go below 10 percent, mothers and babies can die if the operation is not available. Dr. Marleen Temmerman is director of the WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research. She says that a C-section is generally a safe operation and advisable when a traditional vaginal delivery puts the baby or mother in danger. But, she adds, health risks do exist. She says changing opinions and other lifestyle issues generally are the reason for what she calls an epidemic of C-sections. These operations, she adds, are easier for doctors and hospitals because planned C-sections help them better control their planning. She says many women choose a C-section because they do not want the pain of childbirth or the possible physical after-effects