A Survey on the Type and Prevalence of Medical Interventions during Labor and Childbirth in Greek Pregnant Women (2023)

Type of publication:
Journal article

*Papoutsis D.; Chatzipanagiotidou N.

Clinical and Experimental Obstetrics and Gynecology. 50(12) (no pagination), 2023. Article Number: 258. Date of Publication: December 2023.

Background: The purpose of this study was to identify the type and prevalence of medical interventions during labor and birth in Greek pregnant women. Method(s): We constructed a 49-item web-based questionnaire to capture demographic data, obstetric data and the medical interventions performed during the most recent childbirth of participants. The questionnaire was posted on nationwide electronic media between November 2022 to January 2023. All women who had given birth at least once were eligible for the study, and results were stratified by the timing of their last birth. Result(s): There was a total of 954 women participating in the survey, with 809 women giving birth within the last 10 years and 145 women giving birth between 10 to 20 years ago. In those that gave birth within the past 10 years, the majority had a low-risk pregnancy (78.8%) and the overall cesarean section rate was 42.8%. During labor, women were allowed to change positions and to mobilize in about half of cases, whereas the lithotomy position at birth was reported by 81.4%. Almost 2 in 3 women reported a vaginal examination every hour or even more frequently, with approximately 30% sustaining more than 5 examinations intrapartum. Oxytocin use was reported in 36.9%, epidural use in 69.6%, and episiotomy in 47.3% of women. Women who had their last birth 10-20 years ago when compared to those who gave birth within the last 10 years seem to have experienced higher rates of medical interventions during labor and birth. Conclusion(s): The survey results demonstrate the medicalization of childbirth in Greek pregnant women over the past 20 years. These findings may serve as a benchmark against which to compare and identify possible changes in future birthing practices and to determine which measures to promote normality at birth should be implemented.

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