In the last 15 years, the c-section rate in the US (including Minnesota) has increased more than 50% so that now 1 in 3 women have a c-section delivery. In this same period of time the average cost of a delivery has increased 90% (!!!). Despite this, mother and baby outcomes have not significantly improved. (see MappingHealth for stats)
Cesarean sections are medically necessary for a number of women, but not 1/3 of women. The majority of pregnancies are natural and healthy and should be treated that way. Most data indicates that only 5-10% of pregnancies should result in c-section (see Childbirth Connection article below).
Why is this happening? There are a number of factors. Our friends at Childbirth Connection have a great article on why c-sections are going up.
The Childbirth Connection article highlights one major reason behind this increase: “Low priority of enhancing women’s own abilities to give birth”. This points to the growing need for midwifery care delivered in an accredited birth center where high priority is given for women to have a natural, spontaneous vaginal delivery.
Want to learn more about c-sections? Childbirth Connection has a great informational booklet titled: What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section.