C-Section Rates Stable for the First Time in Years

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting in a new study that the overall rate of Cesarean section births is no longer increasing and has remained steady since 2009.

From 1996 to 2009, the rate at which C-sections were performed went up, from over 20 percent of all births to 32.9 percent in that time frame.

The procedure normally takes less than an hour and is considered safe, although health risks are not uncommon. Over 1.6 million women in the United States have the procedure done every year.

Concern over the frequency of non-medically induced C-sections recently however led the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to update their clinical guidelines to cut down on the number of those non-medically induced procedures that occurred prior to 39 weeks due to the increased risk of complications and death for the baby that has been linked with delivery before 39 weeks.

CDC researchers presented their study at the 32nd Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine Meeting, saying there had been a decrease of four percent in C-sections born between 37 and 38 weeks while incidence of the procedure increased for full-term children.

The shift towards longer pregnancies, said researchers,

… is consistent with efforts to reduce nonmedically indicated deliveries for nulliparous, vertex (head first), singleton deliveries before 39 completed weeks of gestation because of the greater risk of poor outcomes for earlier gestations

A recent U.K demonstrated that babies who are born by C-section are at higher risk of becoming obese compared to those born vaginally, as well as having respiratory disress, and developing allergies by the age of two. Another study linked C-section births to higher asthma rates.

Furthermore, Canadian researchers found that C-section babies did not have a group of bacteria that is found in infants delivered vaginally—a bacteria needed for food digesting, for immune system stimulation, and regulation of the bowels.

Source: MNT


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