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Latest Research Shows First C-Section Rate Decline in Fifteen Years

Over the past few weeks our birth injury lawyers have discussed the myriad of concerns about the rise in C-section rates in the United States. Many advocates have voiced concerns over the steady increase in use of these procedures, noting that many surgeries may simply be unneeded. Rates in some places were anywhere from 40-45% of all births with some speculating the rates may actually rise over 50% in the future. It remains shocking to many that more than one out of every two births would be C-section procedures.

However, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and reported in The Stir, suggests that the C-section rate in the United States has actually gone down for the first time in a decade and a half. According to the CDC data, the 2010 C-section rate nationwide was 32.8 percent, the year before the rate was a tenth of a percent larger at 32.9 percent. Before this very slight decrease the rates have risen steadily every single year since 1996.

According to the story, it remains unclear exactly what led to the stabilization of these C-section rates over the last year. It could be that elective C-sections have decreased as community members have become more aware of the inherent harm in the surgery. Or, in the alternative, the reduction could come from those C-sections deemed medically necessary. It could also be a combination of both. In either case, the reduction is being considered a welcome bit of news for those who have long worried about the steady increase in the procedures.

The article’s author, a mother who has had two C-sections, explained, “Undergoing and recovering from a C-section is no picnic. C-sections carry a much higher risk than vaginal deliveries of complications for both mother and child.” Breathing problems are far more common for infants delivered surgically. Similarly, mothers are open to increased risks of inflammation, infections and uterus injuries when they have these procedures. This is not counting the fact that C-sections increase risks of complications in all future pregnancies. Of course there are situations where C-sections are absolutely necessary to prevent problems for both mother and child. But those situations are less common than the alternative-when natural childbirth is safer.

Our Chicago birth injury lawyers hope that we reach a balanced level of C-section births throughout the country. It is not unreasonable for these surgical births to be conducted in a timely fashion when they are necessary-such as following emergency birth-and not to be conducted when a natural birth would be feasible. The consequences and risks inherent in abdominal surgeries should not be underestimated or minimized. It is medical malpractice for a patient to unknowingly suffer harm in either instance: because they had an unnecessary surgery or did not have the surgery that they needed. If you believe that you or a loved one has not received the level of care that you were entitled when it comes to these vital birth decisions, please get in touch with our Illinois injury lawyers to share your story and see how we can help.

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