c-section, Caesarean sectionC-section rates shouldn’t be higher than 15 percent, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Yet, more than one out of three pregnant women in New Jersey will have one.

Who has them?

You’re more likely to have a c-section if:

  • You’ve had one before.
  • Your baby is in breech or traverse position, or very big.
  • You’re having placenta problems.
  • You’re having multiples.
  • You have a medical condition.
  • You experience problems during labor.

What can you do to lower your chances?

  • Educate yourself.
  • Choose a care provider who will respect your choices.
  • Hire a doula.
  • Talk to your provider about a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
  • Explore ways to get your baby in a head-first birth position.
  • Avoid induction unless medically necessary.

When should a c-section be performed? —>


When should you have one?

Women can have emergency c-sections at any point in their pregnancy if the health of mom or baby is in danger. If yours is planned, wait until 39 weeks if possible. EVERY day of development helps.

Why are high c-section rates a concern?

C-sections are sometimes medically necessary and potentially lifesaving. However, the operation is considered major surgery, with risks that include the possibility of:

  • Increased bleeding
  • Infection
  • Reaction to medications
  • Injuries to bladder or bowel
  • Blood clots
  • Secondary infertility or pregnancy complications
  • Death (very rarely)
  • Breathing problems for the baby

Where are c-section rates highest?

New Jersey is one of the two states with the highest rates: c-sections account for 38 percent of single births in the Garden State. Find the c-section rate of your hospital at the State of New Jersey Department of Health website.

The NJ Department of Health and Senior Service and the NJ Hospital Association have set up a VBAC Task Force to encourage more women to give birth vaginally after a prior c-section.