Women in the United States experienced a decrease in the number of cesarean births in 2012, which was the lowest level since 2008, according to a March of Dimes report.
Cesarean deliveries have been associated with greater risks of infection, gastrointestinal issues and labor problems. The March of Dimes study, released Wednesday, is the most recent in a series of studies on C-sections showing a slight decline in the incidence of C-sections from 2011 to 2012.
In 2012, the U.S. rate of caesarean births was at 17.5 percent, down from 18.5 percent in 2011. This is the lowest rate for the U.S. since records began in 1978.
Of the mothers in the study, 26 percent of women had their first baby by cesarean, down from 27 percent in 2011.
Researchers did not look at a number of other contributing factors, such as women’s age and race.
More information on the 2012 cesarean birth rate can be found in the “Birth in America” report, a survey conducted by the March of Dimes, an organization focused on improving the health of mothers and babies.