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National Cesarean Rate Holds Steady

Ob-Gyns Credit Push to Stop Medically Unnecessary Early Deliveries

June 27, 2013

Washington, DC -- Recently released data showing the overall cesarean delivery rate in the US has not increased over the past three years is encouraging. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College) believes that its ongoing efforts to reduce nonmedically indicated deliveries before 39 weeks’ gestation has helped to achieve this plateau.

Data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics show that the overall cesarean rate held steady at 31.3% each year from 2009 to 2011. Prior to 2009, the cesarean rate increased each year for 12 years in a row.

The College is also encouraged that the cesarean delivery rate decreased by more than 5% for singleton births at 38 weeks’ gestation from 2009 to 2011. This decrease in cesareans occurred for women of all races and maternal ages, and in more than half of all states. However, the encouraging news is offset by data showing the cesarean rate at 39 weeks gestation has increased by 4%. More research is needed to find out the reason(s) for this increase.   

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (The College), a 501(c)(3) organization, is the nation’s leading group of physicians providing health care for women. As a private, voluntary, nonprofit membership organization of approximately 57,000 members, The College strongly advocates for quality health care for women, maintains the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education of its members, promotes patient education, and increases awareness among its members and the public of the changing issues facing women’s health care. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a 501(c)(6) organization, is its companion organization. www.acog.org

 

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