More C-Sections are Now Done Closer to Due Date

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

ATLANTA (AP) - A new government report finds what appears to be a significant shift in when pregnant women have C-sections.

The number of C-sections done has stopped increasing and more of the operations are happening closer to the mother's due date.

Experts call the change great news, saying doctors and women have apparently absorbed 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.

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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