Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the indications for cesarean deliveries in Norway, related to type of operation, parity, and gestational age.
Study design: This was a prospective survey that used information provided by clinicians at 24 maternity units. Two thousand seven hundred seventy-eight cesarean deliveries were included, which represents 69.7% of all cesarean deliveries in Norway during the study period.
Results: The cesarean delivery rate varied by maternal and gestational age, parity, and hospital of delivery. Seven indications accounted for 77.7% of the operations: fetal stress (21.9%), failure to progress (20.7%), previous cesarean delivery (8.9%), breech presentation >or=34 weeks of gestation (8.4%), maternal request (7.6%), preeclampsia (6.2%) and failed induction (4.0%). Of the total deliveries, 64.3% were emergency operations.
Conclusion: Accurate information about indications for cesarean deliveries in Norway has been obtained. Two thirds of all deliveries were emergency operations; the most important indications were fetal stress and failure to progress. In the elective cesarean delivery group, the two most important indications were previous cesarean delivery and maternal request.