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Almost 1 in 3 First-Time Deliveries Now Via C-Section
Date:8/31/2010

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- The rate of cesarean delivery in the United States continues to rise and steps are needed to reverse the trend, a new study finds.

From 1996 to 2007 the rate of cesarean delivery climbed by more than 50 percent, and "one in three first-time mothers are now being delivered by cesarean delivery," lead researcher Dr. Jun Zhang, of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, said during a press conference Monday.

In addition, more women than ever before are having repeat C-section deliveries and the rate of medically induced deliveries is high.

"We found that 44 percent of women who attempt vaginal delivery have their labor induced," said Zhang, who is a senior investigator in the institute's Division of Epidemiology, Statistics and Prevention Research. "In this [induced] group the C-section rate is twice as high as women who have spontaneous labor."

He also noted that many cesarean deliveries were done at an early stage of labor, before the women even had a chance to spontaneously deliver.

The report is published in the Aug. 30 issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Like any surgery, C-section comes with risks, explained Dr. Salih Yasin, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

"First, cesarean section is not just having a baby; it is having a baby through major surgery. So there is a chance of bleeding, infections and longer healing and recovery," said Yasin, who was not involved in the new study. There are also the long-term effects of repeated cesareans on the uterus. "You end up having many more cases of cesarean-related hysterectomies and transfusion and maternal death," he said.

While these consequences make up only a small percent of cases, "we are noticing an almost 10-tim
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