One Born Every Minute
Why Are C-Section Rates At An All Time High?
Last month a report came out that was shocking - 34% of American women are getting a c-section. That is more than 1 in 3. Why are so many moms requiring (or choosing) a huge medical procedure just to have a baby?
The issue is deep and complicated, but the amount of non-medical inductions also being on the rise is likely playing a role. Moms are requesting - or the doctors are - to be induced in order to have convenience on their side. So often inductions lead to more and more interventions, and before you know it you have the country spending the most per capita on maternal care having a c-section rate through the roof and one of the worst maternal and infant mortality rates among industrialized nations. It is a frustrating situation, and not one anyone seems to really be taking seriously.
How do I know these stats aren't being worried about in a wide-spread fashion? Because as the c-section and non-medical induction rates are on the rise, and our mortality rates are not improving, the rate of home births is also still very low (hovers at 1%). While countries like the Netherlands where 30-40% of the population are having home births have one of the best infant and maternal mortality rates. I also see constant attacks world-wide against home births, and one has to wonder who exactly is behind this seemingly obvious imbalance of a 1st world having terrible maternal health records.
The World Health Organization says that the c-section rate should be more like 15%, and the Joint Commission admits that even though we have a higher rate of c-section, the numbers and outcomes aren't turning out better (i.e. moms and babies are still dying).
I don't really know what to say about this, except as a mother I think it's about time someone find the reigns and pull all this back in. The situation is completely out of control, and mothers are paying the price for the bureaucracy and ignorance in a culture where we're forgetting that birth is a naturally occurring thing that doesn't need to be rushed or scheduled or forced until the baby is ready or it's medically necessary. Maybe someone, someday, will listen.