A former Master of the Rotunda Hospital says an uptake in Caesarean sections by those using private health insurance is probably down to women taking more control.
A new study has found that women who go private are almost three-times more likely than public patients to have an elective Caesarean section.
The study was carried out on over 75,000 people at the Coombe Hospital between 2009 and 2017.
The research found that 29% of private patients opted for a C-section, while for public patients it was just 11%.
Professor Sam Coulter-Smith is former Master of the Rotunda Hospital.
He told Newstalk Breakfast there may be several reasons for the figures.
"I think there are probably some obvious reasons behind it - I think patients who go privately are a self-selecting group.
"They will have chosen to go privately for a whole variety of reasons.
"Some of those would include people who, maybe, have had a difficult delivery, difficult vaginal delivery in their first pregnancy.
"They might have had a shoulder dystocia, a very big baby, they might have ongoing urinary issues afterwards as a result of a difficult delivery.
"They will choose to go privately because they think that they're going to have a greater chance of more input into the decision-making around how they deliver next time around.
"It provides more continuity, I suppose, you develop a relationship with your obstetrician - and I think it probably does give people a little bit more control, and a lot of women these days like to have that".
"We do have a population that our mothers now are older than they used to be, therefore they have issues that come along with that.
"And that often fits into the same situation: that they want to have more control over the situation".
Prof Smith also dismissed the suggestion that some women are 'too posh to push'.
"I really dislike that term, I don't know where it came from, but I think it does women a disservice.
"I think women these days are autonomous, they like to be part of the decision-making process, and it's very important that we allow them to be part of that process.
"There's a large element of choice into how people's pregnancies are managed, and I think our job as obstetricians and indeed midwives is to support people in the choices that they make".
"There's nothing wrong with choosing to have a Caesarean section, as long as you understand the implications of that choice".