17 August 2008

Caesarean boom in New York


New York City's cesarean section rate has increased by 24% over the past six years to an average of nearly 31%, and rates are on the rise at nearly every single city hospital, according to new data released by Choices in Childbirth.

Contrary to popular belief, caesar rates are not going up because of more 'elective' caesars or because more 'older' women are getting pregnant and are at greater 'risk' of complication. For instance, only 1 in 1600 caesars are 'elective. According to this new data, caesars are increasing from women across every age, race, and socio-economic status.

The most likely explanation seems to be that American birth is just getting more medicalised: women are less informed about alternative birth options and interventions are increasing due to fears of medical malpractice.

As a result Choices in Childbirth, a non-profit maternity education group in New York is urging NYC to create an online database providing info on all New York hospitals so women know their options when they are choosing a place and a method for birth.

Source: www.choicesinchildbirth.org

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