May 1, 2024 - Parenting

C-section births increase in Minnesota

Data: CDC; Map: Axios Visuals

The rate of cesarean births in Minnesota is rising, according to new data from the Centers for Disease.

Why it matters: While generally safe — and often necessary for the health of the baby or the mom — a C-section is a major abdominal surgery that tends to require a longer short-term recovery for the mother.

Zoom in: About 18,800 Minnesota babies were born via C-section in 2023, a rate of 30.2%.

  • That's up from 27% five years ago.

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

  • The state and national figures are well above the 10-15% rate that the WHO considers "ideal."

Between the lines: An increase in C-sections doesn't necessarily mean the rate of unnecessary procedures has risen — there are other factors at play.

Repeat C-sections also account for many procedures.

  • "If you have already had a C-section, you will almost always be offered — and indeed the default is likely to be — a second," says Emily Oster, economist and author of "The Unexpected," her book about navigating pregnancy complications, due out April 30.

Go Deeper: 1 in 3 births: C-section rate increases, again

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