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High C-section rates and the danger for low-risk births

When you're preparing to give birth, there are a number of things you need to do. You have to find the right OB-GYN, decide on the kind of birth you want to have, and make many other important decisions. There are some things that you're better off rejecting during this time, too.

For example, did you know that the United States has very high C-section rates, with close to one out of every three babies being born through a surgical birth? Many times, those C-sections aren't medically necessary and are more for expediency than for the child's health. Realistically, that could cause more harm than the benefits it provides, and it puts both the mother and baby at higher risk of injury.

As C-sections have increased, fewer deaths among newborn babies have not taken place. Instead, more mothers have been dying. Some other concerns before delivery include inducing labor and planning early deliveries; both go against a natural birth and could be detrimental if there is no strong medical reason to do so.

Why are these things so dangerous? A C-section is a major surgery. Pain and infection is likely, and it can increase the likelihood of ectopic pregnancies, problems with the placenta, and could lead to a rupture of the uterine scar with each following birth. C-sections may be necessary for some births, like if a mother or child is in danger, but if you have a low-risk delivery, it's probably best to work through a vaginal delivery if it's possible to do so. Ask your hospital about its C-section rates before choosing it.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Childbirth: What to Reject When You're Expecting," April 13, 2016

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