A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicated that over the last ten years, the number of cesarean deliveries has become the most common surgery in the United States. The rate in Wyoming is up almost 50%, with one of every four babies surgically delivered.
Desirre Andrews, president of the International Cesarean Action Network, says there are a lot of factors at play in the rising rate, including physician perceived liability risks, older mothers, and hospital policies that don't allow women any choice but a C-section if they've had one previously.
Examples of medical reasons for a cesarean delivery include problems with the placenta, certain birth defects, infections and births of multiples.
A recent National Institutes of Health panel found the scientific evidence doesn't support banning the option of birthing a baby after a previous C-section, but the ban is common at hospitals throughout the country. Andrews says until policies change, women have to speak up and ask questions.
The CDC report notes that monitoring the rates of C-sections is important because it is a major surgical procedure that affects the health of women and their babies, and can have a negative effect on future fertility. The study also shows that cesarean births cost about twice as much.