May 3, 2024 - News

Texas C-section rate remains steady

Data: CDC; Chart: Axios Visuals

The rate of cesarean births in Texas is more than the national average, according to new data.

By the numbers: In Texas, the 2023 C-section rate was 34.5%, according to provisional CDC data.

  • C-sections accounted for about 134,000 of the 388,000 births in Texas last year.
  • That rate has fluctuated less than 1% each year over the last eight years.

Zoom out: The national C-section delivery rate increased in 2023 to 32.4%, up from 32.1% in 2022, according to the CDC data.

  • That's the highest rate since 2013 and the fourth annual increase after the rate generally declined from 2009-2019, says the CDC.
  • The rates are well above the 10%-15% rate the World Health Organization considers "ideal."

Yes, but: An increase in C-sections doesn't necessarily mean the rate of unnecessary procedures has risen.

What we're watching: Expanding access to doula care could lower the rates of C-sections.

  • Doulas are there for psychological support during the often-overwhelming labor process, and to help with birth positions that could avoid the need for a C-section.
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