Home Health Parents News Now C-Section Rates Steady, but Still High C-Section Rates Steady, but Still High By Holly Lebowitz Rossi June 28, 2013 Advertisement Save Pin FB More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print shutterstock_127442771 30386 Roughly one in three American singletons is born by C-section, according to the study — up 60 percent from the most recent low in 1996. But the rate of C-section deliveries has steadied since 2009, a trend experts say is "good news" for American moms and babies. "It's good news because there's some inherent risks in C-section deliveries compared to vaginal births," said study author Michelle Osterman, a health statistician at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "It's a very invasive abdominal surgery, and with that comes risks to both mom baby as well as higher cost." But there are ups and downs buried in the apparent plateau. While the rate of C-sections performed at 37 or 38 weeks has fallen 4 percent since 2009, the rate of full-term C-sections performed after 39 weeks has increased 3 percent, the study found. Osterman said the swings could stem from new guidelines issued by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which state that vaginal delivery is "appropriate and should be recommended" in the absence of maternal or fetal complications, and that C-section delivery on maternal request "should not be performed before a gestational age of 39 weeks." In another example of canceled out ups and downs, C-section rates decreased by 7 percent among women younger than 25 but rose by at least 3 percent for women 25 and older. The rates also varied by location, with some states, such as New York, Oklahoma and Oregon, seeing decreases in 38-week C-section rates since 2009, and others, such as Maryland, Michigan and California, seeing increases in 39-week C-section rates. Image: C-section equipment, via Shutterstock By Holly Lebowitz Rossi Save Pin FB More Tweet Mail Email iphone Send Text Message Print Comments Add a Comment Be the first to comment! Advertisement Close this dialog window Add a comment C-Section Rates Steady, but Still High Add your comment... Cancel Submit Success! Thanks for adding your feedback.