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Cesarean Rate Jumps Again To Record High: 32.3%

For Immediate Release

Cesarean Rate Jumps Again To Record High; 32.3% of Births Resulting In Major Abdominal Surgery

12th Consecutive Year to Show Increase

Redondo Beach, CA, April 6, 2010 – The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate hit another record high in 2008 with a rate of 32.3 percent, up 2.6 percent from 2007.   The findings reflect the 12th consecutive year of increase.

“Every U.S. woman in childbearing years should have deep concern over this rate,” said Desirre Andrews, president of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). “With the cesarean rate showing no signs of decreasing and VBAC access being limited in many areas across the U.S., women need to be well educated and well versed in self advocacy during pregnancy and birth.”

With the preliminary number of 4,251,095 U.S. births reported in 2008, a 32.3% cesarean rate results in approximately 1,373,103 women undergoing surgical deliveries. This total is equivalent to the entire population of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania or the combined populations of Alaska and Washington, DC. “This real life comparison highlights how serious the near 1 in 3 percentage of pregnancies resulting in major abdominal surgery is,” said Andrews.  “Evidence shows that cesareans put women and babies at increased risk for morbidity and mortality immediately and long term. Cesarean sections are being overused in the United States and as the rate continues to rise, mothers and babies are exposed to these risks avoidably.  The repeat cesarean rate of over 90% is undoubtedly helping to drive this record setting data.”

ICAN has a variety of educational, advocacy and support options on-line through webinars, forums, blog, twitter and white papers at www.ican-online.org.

About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved.  Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations.  Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death. http://ican-online.org/ican-white-papers

Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean.  There are over 130 ICAN Chapters across North America and internationally, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.

Contacts:

Desirre Andrews
719-331-1292
president@ican-online.org

Gretchen Humphries
517-745-7297
advocacy@ican-online.org