Researchers Examine Dramatic Rise of Cesarean Sections in the United States

A new study conducted by Yale University researchers aims to pinpoint the reasons why there has been a dramatic rise in the number of women delivering babies through cesarean section.While half of the increase was due to a rise in repeat cesarean delivery among women with a prior cesarean birth, an equal rise was seen in first time cesarean delivery.

According to the researchers, more subjective factors such as slowly progressing labor and fetal heart rate concerns were the largest contributors to the rise.

In addition, it appears doctors are more likely now than before to recommend cesarean sections for suspected large infants and twins.

However, more objectively-based factors, such as the baby being in a breech position and placenta previa, remained the stable over time.

Maternal choice did not play a large part in the increase.

Cesarean sections, though routinely carried out in the United States, do carry more significant risks of complications than vaginal deliveries.

The most common risks of cesarean sections include excessive bleeding, laceration of the urinary bladder, laceration of the bowel, infection, deep vein thrombosis and respiratory complications.

The study was published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.