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After reaching record highs for almost a decade, the Cesarean section rate in the United States has dropped, The Associated Press reports. According to new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures, C-section rate was 32.8 percent in 2010—down slightly from 32.9 percent in 2009.
The drop is small, but it's significant for health experts who have been criticizing the skyrocketing rate for years, according to the AP. Critics have said that the operation is performed too often and needlessly; other experts, however, insist that C-sections, when necessary, can save a mother and baby.
According to a Los Angeles Times report, "the nation's C-section rate in 1970 was only 5 percent." The article points to patients and OBs choosing elective C-sections out of convenience for the rise over the years in surgical deliveries.
The AP article quotes an expert who says, "There are strong winds pushing against C-sections, including new policies and education initiatives that discourage elective C-sections in mothers who have not reached full-term."
There are definitely legitimate health reasons why a women should have a C-section, no doubt. If you do deliver your baby via surgery, check out our expert advice on recovering from a C-section to make those first days after baby arrives easier.
One of our own on the Fit Pregnancy staff shared her feelings, photos and video of the day she gave birth via C-section. Take a peek at her real-life C-section for yourself!
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.