Cesarean Rate Jumps Again To Record High

32.9% of Births Resulting In Major Abdominal Surgery; 13th Consecutive Year to Show Increase


Redondo Beach, CA, December 21, 2010 – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate hit another record high in 2009, with a preliminary rate of 32.9 percent. The findings reflect the 13th consecutive year of increase. This rate roughly equates to 1,359,105 out of the 4,131,019 births in the United States in 2009 resulting in a cesarean.


"Cesareans are far from the niche occurrence of yesteryear. Every woman in her childbearing years MUST sit up and take notice of this alarming and astonishing rate of surgical delivery," says ICAN President Desirre Andrews.


The primary cesarean rate continues to rise, meaning that even women without a prior cesarean and those with prior vaginal births are affected by the climbing cesarean rate. For those who have previously had a cesarean, access to VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) support continues to fade regardless of this year's statements from the NIH and ACOG supporting VBAC as a safe option. "The rising cesarean rate and the resulting consequences are not going to go away on their own," says Andrews. "Now more than ever, women and babies need access to evidence-based care."


Evidence shows that cesareans place women and babies at increased risk for morbidity and mortality immediately and long term. Cesarean sections are being overused in the United States and the rate continues to rise, placing women and babies under these risks avoidably.


In addition to over 130 local chapters throughout North America and Internationally which provide in-person support, ICAN offers a variety of information and support online about cesarean prevention, recovery, and VBAC through their webinars, forums, and blog.


About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved. Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations. Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death.

Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean.

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