The US has hit a new high in cesarean births - more than 30% of all births are now done surgically. This news is especially timely to me - last week my wife gave birth to our first child, and after a lengthy but never alarming labor she gave birth to a fine boy early Tues morning. But a few hours later, word was that we were far closer to a cesarean (or rather, closer to the doctors recommending caesearean) than we'd ever imagined.
I find the geographical distribution of cesarean rates especially fascinating - highest in the South and lowest in the upper Midwest and West. Bearing in mind the story in today's NYTimes that infant mortality rates are actually increasing in the deep South, it raises some questions about the inequities and disparities in how we treat childbirth and postnatal care in this country.