And the number of Cesareans is on the rise. Nearly one in every three babies in the U.S. is born via C-section.
Consumer Reports says that there are some situations in which performing a C-section is to be preferred, but in most cases the safest way, for mother and baby, is to deliver vaginally.
If a woman's first birth is a C-section, there's about a 90 percent chance subsequent births will also be C-sections. But Consumer Reports say that doesn't have to happen. Many women who've had a C-section, especially with a low-transverse incision, are able to have a vaginal birth after a C-section, which is known as a V-BAC.
But a woman seeking a V-BAC delivery can have trouble finding a doctor who is willing to try one. Some doctors don't have the necessary support from their hospital or their malpractice insurance won't cover the procedure. If your doctor is willing to try a V-BAC, make sure that he or she has all the necessary information from a previous C-section.
In addition to a rise in the number of C-sections, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of scheduled early deliveries. Consumer Reports says that in uncomplicated pregnancies, it is better for the baby and mother to let Mother Nature decide when a baby is ready to be born.