ATLANTA (June 27, 2013)--A new government report finds what appears to be a significant shift in when pregnant women have C-sections.
It says the number of C-sections being performed is no longer increasing and says more of the procedures are being performed closer to the mothers’ due dates.
Experts called the change great news, saying doctors and women have evidently heeded warnings about the risks of C-sections and the importance of waiting to deliver until the baby is full-term.
A C-section is major surgery with risks, including death in very rare cases.
For decades, the operations were done in only a small fraction of births, usually only when a fetus was in danger.
In 1970, the U.S. rate was 5 percent of all births, but by 2009, about a third of births were C-sections.
Experts say one factor among many was the convenience of scheduling deliveries.
That rate is unchanged.
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