Two trends are apparent regarding cesarean delivery in the developing world. In the least developed countries, access to the procedure remains limited at levels much less than 5% of all births. This limited access is linked with increases in maternal and neonatal mortality. Safety concerns are equally valid when more than half of women in certain socioeconomic strata are having surgical delivery, as is evident in the more advanced developing economies of Latin America and China. The optimal minimum and maximum cesarean delivery rates continue to be a matter of debate and may never be resolved; however, these two extremes of cesarean delivery use evident in the developing world deserve critical examination.