The number of cesarean sections being performed in the United States appears to be going down. That's the finding in a new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
"It's probably a good thing. I think cesarean sections in general have increased morbidity, so there's more risk for complications for the mom and for baby and they also cost more," said Dr. Jeffrey Chapa, an OB/GYN at Cleveland Clinic.
Researchers looked back at the number of C-sections being performed in the United States from 1996 to 2012. They saw a significant increase from 1996 until 2009. In fact, rates reached an all-time high of 32.9% in 2009 before declining in 2010 and remaining stable in 2011 and 2012. It currently sits at 21.5 percent.
The state with the lowest rate in 2012 was Utah at 12.5 percent. Florida and Louisiana had the highest rates at nearly 27 percent.
Chapa says he expects to see the overall rate continue to decrease because of new C-section guidelines developed over the last 10 years. He adds it's also important for women to understand their role in the decision-making process.
"So, I think it's very important for the patients to understand the risks and benefits and then make decisions that they're most comfortable with. I think that's really the key role for the patient," explained Chapa.
Read more on this new report at CDC.gov.