C-sections hit record in U.S.

March 23, 2010 3:29:18 PM PDT
If a mother in the U.S. has a Cesarean birth, she's almost certain to have her next baby the same way

Cesarean deliveries involve major abdominal surgery... pose greater safety risks for the mother and baby... and are significantly more expensive than vaginal deliveries.

Yet more women than ever before in the U-S are giving birth by Cesarean.

According to a CDC report, the C-section rate rose by 53 percent between 1996 and 2007. The decade began with a modest increase across all ages and races.

But from 2000-2007, women under age 25 had the sharpest rise in Cesarean deliveries.

Nearly one and a half million women had a Cesarean birth in 2007.

That's 32 percent of all births or one in three babies delivered by C-section. It's the highest rate ever recorded in the U-S, and higher than most other industrialized nation.

In 2006 there were more Cesarean deliveries performed in U-S hospitals than any other surgical procedure.

In addition to clinical reasons other factors may include older age of the expectant mother, physician recommendations, maternal choices and legal pressures.