Medical interventions like caesarian deliveries shouldn't be routinely done for low-risk pregnancies, several Canadian medical groups said in a new policy statement  Wednesday.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada released the statement calling for the promotion of normal childbirth when labour and birth are progressing normally.

Medical interventions that are on the rise include:

  • Caesarean sections.
  • Induction of labour before 41 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Use of forceps or vacuum assistance during delivery.

Doctors should only resort to these interventions when there is a valid, evidence-based reason, the statement said.

Pregnant women who are at low risk of complications should be encouraged to pursue a normal birth, the group added.

"We are seeing a significant increase of medical intervention during childbirth, but there is a real concern that unnecessary interventions introduce risks for mother and baby that could be prevented," said Gisela Becker, president of the Canadian Association of Midwives.

"We want to be sure that women who are at low risk for complications receive adequate information and support to have a normal birth."

Besides the SOGC and the midwives group, the statement was endorsed by the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada and the Society of Rural Physicians of Canada.