Epidemiologist Eugene Declerq examines Birth by the Numbers. First he discusses the neonatal, perinatal, and maternal mortality rates and how the United States continually ranks low compared to other countries. Then he moves onto Cesarean section rates compared to other nations and in what situations it is life-saving, and what situations it is actually harmful.
Then he focuses on the U.S.'s c-section rate. I love this video because he addresses the falsity that the rising cesarean rate is attributable to upper-middle class white mothers choosing elective cesarean sections. These exist, but it's a very small percentage, and is not driving the increase in c-sections.
It's also not the case that U.S. mothers are more high risk than other mothers.
The video is about 22 minutes long, but it's worth a viewing.
So what is the reason for the increasing cesarean rates? Provider practice changes.
Truth be told, mothers are feeling pressured to have a cesarean by their care provider. They're scheduling more women for inductions, which increase risk for surgery. Providers are lowering their threshold for "medically indicated" c-sections. They fear the tiny percent possibility of something going wrong, and the possibility of a lawsuit. C-sections are more convenient for doctors who want to make it home in time for dinner.
Don't believe me? Listen to the data, and watch the video above!