By Rita Rubin, USA TODAY
Impatience could help explain the rising U.S. cesarean section rate, given that a high percentage of such deliveries probably are performed before women are in active labor, a new National Institutes of Health-sponsored study shows.
The C-section rate has climbed more than 50% since 1996, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. An increasing proportion of first-time mothers are delivering by C-section, while fewer women who have had a previous C-section deliver subsequent babies vaginally.
In 2007, the most recent year for which final data are available, a record 31.8% of births were by C-section, according to the health statistics center, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And preliminary data show the 2008 rate inched up even further, to 32.3%.
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