What’s Behind the Cesarean Section Surge?
by Suzanne Koup-Larsen When her doctor said it was time for a C-section, Jaime Rowlyk of Woolwich, NJ, mom of now-two-year old Alden, tried to negotiate. “Can you give me five minutes to think about it?” she asked. The doctor gave her just one minute. After 12 hours of labor with virtually no dilation and soaring blood pressure, Jaime’s body was beginning to break down and there was no time for back and forth. In retrospect, Jaime believes the medical staff at the hospital saved her life with a C-section on the day her son was born. While cesareans are obviously very useful in preventing potentially serious complications for both mother and baby, the World Health Organization recommends that they should be performed in no more than 15 percent of all births. But in 2006, the U.S. cesarean birth rate was 31.1 percent, according to the National Institute for Health Statistics. Delaware and Pennsylvania had similar numbers with 30.7 and 29.7 percent respectively, but New Jersey led all U.S