National Cesarean Rate Hits a New High

Recent Studies Show Cesareans Can Pose Dangers to Mothers and Babies

Release Highlights:

  • Cesarean rate at record high in U.S.
  • Cesarean rise coincides with CDC report that maternal death rate rising for the first time in decades.
  • World Health Organization data shows that mothers die at a higher rate in the U.S. than 40 other countries.
  • Consumer Reports includes cesarean on "10 overused tests and treatments"


Redondo Beach, CA, December 5, 2007 - The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate has hit an all-time high of 31.1 percent.

CDC's Preliminary Data for 2006

"There's no doubt that cesarean surgery is being overused," said Pam Udy, president of the International Cesarean Awareness Network. "Unfortunately, despite its reputation as a harmless surgery, many women and babies are paying the high price of complications from this surgery."

Read more . . .

Cesarean Rate Jumps to Record High

1 in 3 pregnant women face surgical delivery

More Women Forced into Surgery;
Few Mothers Recognize They Can Reduce Their Risk of Surgery

Redondo Beach, CA, March 18, 2009 - The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate hit an all-time high in 2007, with a rate of 31.8 percent, up two percent from 2006.

Read more . . .

Virginia C-section Rates by OB

Virginia Health Information has released information regarding OBs and their c-section rates. Information can be found at the Virginia Health Information website.C-section rates in Virginia

NIH VBAC panel finds VBAC safe

Today, a statement was released from the NIH VBAC consensus stating that evidence shows VBACs are a safe alternative to a repeat c-section. According to their statement: "Given the available evidence, TOL is a reasonable option for many pregnant women with a prior low transverse uterine incision." Additionally, "We are concerned that medico-legal considerations add to, as well as exacerbate, these barriers. Policymakers, providers, and other stakeholders must collaborate in the development and implementation of appropriate strategies to mitigate the chilling effect of the medico-legal environment on access to care"

The complete statement released by the panel can be found here: NIH VBAC Consensus statement

The post conference press release can be found here: NIH VBAC post conference press release

ACOG modifies VBAC guidelines

ACOG has modified their VBAC guidelines! Their guidelines state that twin pregnancies, VBA2C (Vaginal birth after two cesareans), large babies, post-dates, and unknown surgical incision should not be reasons to disallow a VBAC. Additionally, the new bulletin (#115) also states that the choice should be made up to the woman regarding the decision to attempt a VBAC or have a repeat cesarean.

To see the press release from ACOG, view this link: Ob-GYNs Issue Less Restrictive VBAC guidelines

About ICAN

The International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc. (ICAN) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by reducing preventable cesareans through education, supporting cesarean recovery, and advocating for vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Learn More About ICAN