In the last 30 years, childbirth by caesarean section have seen an immense increase, reveals study.
Delivery trends show that advantaged mothers are more likely to have their babies by caesarean section than mothers living in more difficult circumstances.
Researchers from the Medical Research Council/Chief Scientist Office Social and Public Health Sciences Unit (MRC/CSO SPHSU) looked at the mother's social class, and the level of deprivation of the area each mother lived in.
This data was compared to patient records describing hospital births and patient records covering details about the pregnancy and delivery.
"Thirty years ago mothers having caesarean sections were more likely to come from deprived areas and/or from a lower social background. This was true for both elective and emergency sections," said Ruth Dundas from the MRC/CSO SPHSU.
"Ten years later the rates had changed so that, although women from a lower social background were more likely to have emergency sections, there was no difference between them and women from a higher social background in elective surgery rates," she added.
"By 1999-2000, the rates had equalized for emergency section, but babies born by elective surgery were more likely to belong to mothers from the higher of the social classes measured," she concludes.
The study has been published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health.