Almost one in three pregnant women in Ireland have cesarean sections.
A new study from Trinity College and NUI Galway shows that this rate has increased dramatically in the past few years and it is now more than double the figure recommended by the WHO.
The research forms part of the Europe-wide Optibirth study, which aims to improve maternal health services and decrease the number of unnecessary c-sections.
Trinity Professor Cecily Begley, who co-ordinated the project, says there are issues around c-sections that women are often not aware of.
"Normal vaginal birth is safer for women and babies than cesarean section and the problem is people don't realise this. There's just a perception out there that cesarean section is quick and easy and it'll all be over in half an hour and then you'll have your baby, whereas there's a lot of knock-on problems on mobility for women that generally isn't as much talked about," she said.