C-Sections on the rise: some of the reasons behind those stats

 I actually thought the elective c-sections rate would have been higher.  I do think many of the doctor recommended c-sections could be preventable depending on many aspects of pregnancy including diet, exercize, your practitioner, and lifestyle choices.  I do think women who want a natural birth should advocate for themselves and know they can ask questions and seek second opinions…and third opinions.  It’s okay to think the doctor might be wrong.  However, with all that said, some births are safer with medical intervention such as a c-section so I do not want to discredit them entirely.  I tend to believe that doctors prefer c-sections because they are timely and efficient.  I also think that women today are so fearful of childbirth pain that they are scared into thinking a c-section will eliminate those pains.   I am more fearful of my body being cut open and put back together…that makes me feel to vulnerable.  To each there own.  Knowledge is power so I say read as much as you can about all your options and choose what is best for you and your family. 

Why More Moms are Having C-Sections

Posted by heatherturgeon on June 22nd, 2011 at 2:18 pm
4070989885 fde37297c6 300x225 Why More Moms are Having C SectionsThe reasons for more c sections

In an early release article in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yale researchers report the results of a new, large study examining the rise in c-section rates in the U.S.

After examining records from over 32,000 births, the researchers found that the c-section rate went from 26% in 2003 to 36.5% in 2009. The lowest rates are in Utah, highest in New Jersey.

Half of the rise was attributable to a rise in second-time cesarean births, since most doctors and hospitals encourage moms who have had a c-section before to use the method in subsequent births.

But the other 50% resulted from a rise in first-time cesareans. When the researchers looked into the reasons doctors do c-sections, they found that 32% were due to “nonreassuring fetal status,” for example, an abnormal heart rate during labor.

Elective c-sections have been blamed for the increase before, so in this study, what percentage of c-sections were at the request of the mom?


Maternal request accounted for 8% of the increase in c-sections since 2001. Other reasons included labor arrest disorders (18%), multiple babies (16%), suspected macrosomia (10%), preeclampsia (10%), and maternal-fetal conditions (5%).

The study found that objective reasons for c-sections, like placenta previa and breech babies stayed stable over time, but c-sections for more subjective reasons, like fetal distress, or slow labor have gone up over the years.

Also interesting is that more doctors do c-sections now because they suspect big babies, or because of multiple births, when the researchers say these conditions have been “relatively stable” in the population over recent years.

So doctors are more often making the call to do a c-section on their subjective opinion when things start to slow down, baby goes into distress, or the baby is judged to be too big.

Is that a good thing? Consider the fact that the infant mortality rate hasn’t gone down since 2001.


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