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April 27, 2021

Initiatives to Reduce Cesarean Delivery Rates for Low-risk First Births

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas
JAMA. 2021;325(16):1616-1617. doi:10.1001/jama.2021.0084

An estimated 4 million births occur each year in the US, and almost 1 in 3 births involve cesarean delivery.1 The national rate of cesarean delivery steadily increased from 20.7% in 1996 to 32.8% in 2010, and for the past decade, this rate has remained largely unchanged.1,2 Although cesarean delivery can be lifesaving for both the mother and neonate, the increase in cesarean delivery rates has not been associated with any demonstrable improvements in maternal or neonatal morbidity or mortality.2-4 Because of these procedure rates, obstetric leaders and organizations have highlighted the importance of addressing cesarean delivery, especially among low-risk births.2,4,5