Baby's health

U.S. Caesarean deliveries rise

In August I posted a study that found a Caesarean delivery more than triples a woman’s risk of dying in childbirth compared to a vaginal birth. The rate of Caesarean births has increased again in 2005.

The Caesarean delivery rate for U.S. women hit a record high in 2005, spiking by nearly 50 percent in a decade, while teen births fell to a new low and births by unmarried mothers rose, according to government data.

Close to a third of all babies born in the United States — 30.2 percent in 2005, up from 29.1 in 2004 — were delivered surgically in a procedure also commonly called a C-section.

This marks a 46 percent increase in the Cesarean delivery rate since 1996 and continues an upward trend dating back three decades, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, or NCHS.

The rate stood at about 5 percent in 1970. C-sections are favored when doctors believe vaginal delivery could cause medical complications, but have become more and more commonplace for what would be considered normal births.

The increase comes amid a controversy over whether some women are opting for medically unnecessary C-sections out of convenience and whether some doctors are performing them because they fear being sued if they do not.

While in the past older mothers were more likely to have a C-section, NCHS statistician Fay Menacker said Caesarean deliveries were increasing for women of all ages and races.

The World Health Organization has recommended C-section rates no higher than 15 percent of births.

I cannot understand why doctors allow scheduled C-sections. Unless there is a predetermined condition that doesn’t allow for a vaginal birth these women should not be allowed to decide when the baby is going to arrive.

Related Articles:

French Study: An Increase In Maternal Deaths After C-Section
Elective Caesarean Sections


About the author

Lisa Arneill

Mom of 2 boys and founder of and World Traveled Family. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!


  • I don’t agree with this either. I think it is crazy that you can now basically “choose” the birthday or your child. I know for famous people it is the way to go. Britney Spears had both of her sons by c-section because she didn’t want to go through the “pain” of labor! This is absolutely crazy! A few hours of pain is definately worth the beautiful baby you get. And c-sections can put you up for a long time that is not necessary! I say suck it up and do what your body lets you do!

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