ICAN Response to CDC's Release of 2010 Birth Statistics


Desirre Andrews, 719-331-1292, president@ican-online.org

Gretchen Humphries, 517-745-7297, advocacy@ican-online.org

For Immediate Release

Cesarean Rate Nearly Static at 32.8%

Redondo Beach, CA, November 23, 2011 – The National Center for Health Statistics has reported that the cesarean rate in 2010 has slightly dipped to an overall rate of 32.8 percent, down from 32.9 percent from 2009.  The one-tenth percent reduction reflects the first decrease in fourteen years.

“Even with the near lateral maintenance of the cesarean rate, childbearing women in the U.S. need to understand how incredibly high the rate still is and that it is of concern,” said Desirre Andrews, President of the International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN). “The time is now to increase advocacy, education and cooperative efforts across agencies, organizations, and consumers to create a true downward trend in cesarean rates.”

With the preliminary number of 4,000,279 U.S. births reported in 2010, a 32.8% cesarean rate results in approximately 1,312,091 women undergoing surgical deliveries. This total is equivalent to the entire combined populations of Denver, Colorado and Detroit, Michigan in 2010. Within ICAN, there is guarded optimism surrounding the slight decrease as evidence indicates that this cesarean rate  continues to put women and babies at increased risk for morbidity and mortality immediately following birth and over the long term.  “We must continue to forge pathways that enable a substantial decrease in surgical deliveries and increase access to evidence-based care,” Andrews says.

ICAN offers a variety of educational, support, and advocacy resources online at www.ican-online.org.  ICAN empowers consumers to seek evidence-based care through webinars, white papers, forums, and blog, and provides unique support via local Chapters and social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

About Cesareans: When a cesarean is medically necessary, it can be a lifesaving technique for both mother and baby, and worth the risks involved.  Potential risks to babies from cesareans include: low birth weight, prematurity, respiratory problems, and lacerations.  Potential risks to women include: hemorrhage, infection, hysterectomy, surgical mistakes, re-hospitalization, dangerous placental abnormalities in future pregnancies, unexplained stillbirth in future pregnancies and increased percentage of maternal death. http://ican-online.org/ican-white-papers

Mission statement: ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesareans through education, providing support for cesarean recovery and promoting vaginal birth after cesarean.  There are over 150 ICAN Chapters across North America and internationally, which hold educational and support meetings for people interested in cesarean prevention and recovery.

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