What is the Cesarean Rate?
Current public health efforts in the United States focus on reducing the overall number of medically unnecessary cesarean births among a specific population-- first-time moms with potentially "low-risk" births, meaning that they have a single, full-term baby in the head-down position. The cesarean birth rate in this population is called the NTSV cesarean birth rate.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from 2017 show that 32% of all births were by cesarean and 26% of the NTSV ("low-risk") population had cesarean births.
U.S. Total and NTSV Cesarean Rates, 1993-2017
Available CDC data show that the NTSV cesarean birth rate was as high as 28.1% in the United States, reaching this peak in 2009.
Unfortunately, 87.6% of women with a history of a previous cesarean birth have a repeat C-section, as many hospitals and doctors offering maternity services do not permit women with a history of cesarean birth to give birth vaginally at their facility. Multiple repeat cesarean births dramatically increase the risk of dangerous long-term complications, such as placenta accreta.