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C-sections up, overall births down in 2008
December 20th, 2010
12:01 AM ET

C-sections up, overall births down in 2008

4,251,095 babies were born in the United States in 2008, according to the latest statistics provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is about 2% fewer than in the previous record-setting year. But about a third or 32.3% of these newborns came into this world by way of cesarean sections – a 2% increase – which marks the twelfth consecutive year that the number of c-sections has gone up.
Although the rate has gone up more than 50% compared with 1996, the increased number of women delivering their babies this way has been slowing, says Joyce Martin, one of the CDC’s epidemiologists who crunched the numbers for a report published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

Each year the American Academy of Pediatrics publishes an “annual summary of vital statistics” that compiles a variety of data. For example, in 2008:

  • total fertility: down 2% to 2085.5 births per 1000 women
  • birth rate for teenagers down 2%
  • birth rates for women between the ages of 20 and 39 decreased 1-3% – . Researchers say for the first time in 30 years, the number of births in the 35-39 age group declined – by 1%.
  • births to women age 40-44 increased by 4% – 9.9 births per 1000 women – the highest rate since 1967

Martin was encouraged by the 2008 statistics for preterm births (babies born before 37 weeks of gestation). “It went down for the 2nd straight year,” she says. “That’s a really good thing. Martin says the rates had been going up steadily from 1981 to 2006, peaking at 12.8% in 2006. Now it’s down to 12.3. That may seem like a small decline, but to those who study this data this trend is encouraging. “We're really hopeful,” says Martin.
Babies born too early are aren’t fully grown yet and therefore at risk for many health problems, including breathing problems due to underdeveloped lungs, other underdeveloped organs, greater risk of infections.

More details about this report can be found at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org.


soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. ?

    " total fertility: down 2% to 2085.5 births per 1000 women" Maybe I am missing something, but how can there be over 2 birth per women per year? I know I didn't have a child in 2008, which means someone had to have 4 babies to make up for me – or two women had to have 3 each. I don't think this is possible. I think there is a typo somewhere in that stat.

    December 20, 2010 at 06:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sancheuz

      u never did too well in math did u?

      December 20, 2010 at 08:26 | Report abuse |
    • Gabor47

      You are missing the missing "per year" words:) They are not there.

      December 20, 2010 at 08:37 | Report abuse |
    • Lynn

      Yes... something is very wrong here. 9.9 births per 1000 woman for the age group 40-44 makes sense. For all women, to have over two births per year per woman across all women is crazy! Think it through folks, two children per woman is a reasonable upper limit across their entire lifetime, not just for one year.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:35 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      The article doesn't explain what it means by total fertility. See the defition below.

      Total fertility: The average number of children that would be born per woman if all women lived to the end of their child-bearing years and bore children according to a given fertility rate at each age. The total fertility rate is a more direct measure of the level of fertility than the crude birth rate, since it refers to births per woman.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • RCC

      Oops...the statistician must have accidentally included the number of abortions in with the statistic.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • dcn8v

      My mom had two kids in one year- Irish twins. But I'm guessing she's in the vast minority. I agree with you- this statistic is off. Either that, or it needs more explaination.

      December 20, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
    • Mariilyinindiana

      I agree I did not have a baby or two that year either! Also did it account for the babies born and not reported?

      December 20, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  2. Jay

    Just because some women can't sustain a fetus until it can survive outside the womb, doesn't mean you get to make fun of them, Bill. No one cares about your opinion that had nothing to do with this article. Go be fundie somewhere else.

    December 20, 2010 at 06:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. stillin

    C-sections are big money makers for hospitals...not always necessary, yes they can be life saving but geographic areas rates of c-sections vary...if you're pregnant, know the c-section rate for your area. Abortion has nothing to do with this earlier post, stick to the topic. I always suspect body image is the main reason women request a c-section...as it's easier on your body, but you miss out on the whole experience...I have had an emergency c-section and 2 vbacs and I remain, pro choice.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kris

      Easier on your body? Who's body? I've had two c-sections because of "failure to progress" and I found nothing easy about the c-section. Your in a lot of pain after delivery and sore for weeks afterward. Not to mention the "flab" of skin that never seems to go away where they cut into you.

      December 20, 2010 at 08:16 | Report abuse |
    • I'll be the judge of that

      I'm with Kris on this one. Don't know who said its easier but I'm guessing its someone who's never had one. I've had one because of "failure to progress" after being induced and have another scheduled for next year. I would rather go naturally. There is NOTHING easier about a c-section.

      December 20, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse |
    • Emily

      Easier on the body? It's major abdominal surgery.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I had an appendectomy and it was horrible, I can't imagine having a C-section, especially when you have to care for a baby post surgery! I am so happy that I didn't need to have a C-section with my daughter and will avoid having one with my next baby like the plague. If I had no choice and the baby was at risk, of course I would, but all this bologna about a C-Section being easier is something I don't understand (especially when epidurals are available)!

      December 20, 2010 at 11:09 | Report abuse |
    • Tiffany

      @I'll be the judge of that – if you would rather go natural, why do you have c-section scheduled for next year? Why not try a VBAC?

      December 20, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse |
    • lisa

      I think what Stillin is referring to when she says "easier on your body" is the permanent damage that is done to a woman's, um, reproductive organs when she gives birth naturally. A C section is indeed major surgery and potentially very dangerous and has a lengthy recovery period. But there is a recovery. The other part never recovers to its pre-delivery condition.

      December 20, 2010 at 16:31 | Report abuse |
    • Lady M

      @ Tiffany–You often don't get a choice on that second one, just like you don't get a choice with the first. I "opted" to try VBAC with my second, but never went into spontaneous labor. They will not induce if you've already had a c-section. So I had a second. With my third child, VBAC was never presented as an option.

      December 22, 2010 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  4. Freddy

    Im interested in your opinion and yes I feel that the fact that woman are killing babies at a record numbers makes sense that birth numbers are down.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Michael

    Did anyone ever stop to think that total births are down because more people are using condoms? Plus, we are in a recession, people cannot afford to have babies. Also, too many people are out there having babies when they have no business having them in the first place, so I applaud this news because it means that at least SOME of these women and their spouses are using common sense. It's not like the human population is going to suddenly die out. By the way, to the folks who left the abortion comments ... perhaps if you weren't trying to shove abstinence-only education (yeah, because it clearly works SO well) down America's throat, then the number of abortions might actually decrease.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      Agreed.

      December 20, 2010 at 07:37 | Report abuse |
    • RCC

      Leave it to a liberal to rely on the government to educate his children about one of the most important things in life.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • DaisyinAZ

      hahaha "some of the women and their spouses are using common sense"...maybe you need to do 70% of all births in the US are to unwed mothers...I think your behind a decade or two.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • russ

      Its amazing to me that any topic of conversation can be turned into a liberal vs conservative debate....pathetic!!!!

      December 20, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Laura

      Well, actually the number just shows that women are having children later in life. If you noticed the increase of pregnancy and birth as women turn forty... It just means women are not getting pregnant because they are finishing their education, working on their careers. No time to have babies.

      December 20, 2010 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  6. JamieinMN

    You're a MAN...so really this is none of your business.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Calvin

      Even men start out as a fetus. Since the killing of a fetus tends to really adversely affect the fetus, I do think men have a say.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      Go and tell that to all the dead beat dads and rapists. Most women who have abortions see no protest from a man. In many cases women feel forced into abortion by their partners.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • Sara

      I wonder if we turn the abortion argument on it's head and asked instead, if men were the ones who got pregnant and perhaps felt the need for an abortion, would they listen to their wife/girlfriend/etc. when they asked them not to? It's all about indvidual choice isn't it?

      December 21, 2010 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
  7. Fig

    I believe hospitals try to cover their butts by offering c-sections too soon after they may "sense" a problem. I think women who tend to deliver with midwifes or older physicians have a lower c-section rate, because these individuals have trusted the power of nature just a little more (in conjunction with good medical monitoring). When you watch birthing shows on TV, you realize how many c-sections they rush in to. How many "broken water bags" too early, how many births are induced when the mother could have waited 1 more week. Let nature do it's work....Europe's C-Section rate AND infant mortality rates are lower...and they DO use more natural methods. We can learn from that. We shouldn't go backwards with our sciences, but instead leaarn when to really use them and when not to.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Layla

      Fig, I like your brain.

      December 21, 2010 at 23:31 | Report abuse |
  8. MXD

    @JamieinMN – just because this baby is developing in a woman's body does NOT mean the child BELONGS to that woman. It is a separate human being (albeit a very dependent one for the first few years...). A child's life is EVERYONE'S business, not just women's.

    December 20, 2010 at 07:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Llama Llama Duck

    C-section rate in our two area hospitals is close to 50%. Avg. cost (a.k.a. profit) for those c-sections? $11,800 vs. $3,200 avg. cost of "natural" (i.e. non-surgical) birth. All hail the almighty dollar!

    December 20, 2010 at 08:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. BossMan

    I wonder how many were born to illegals.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nicole

      I wonder why that matters to you? The births are to human beings period.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
    • joe08

      it matter's because it changes the numbers and would reflect a different rate than the one that just includes the reports rates.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
  11. I'll be the judge of that

    @MXD-It is just because a baby is developing inside a woman's body that means the baby is hers. Sure the father's opinion should matter but until men start to carry baby's inside their bodies, they have no final say. Sorry fellas, thats just one thing out of your control.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. la shawn

    I had a natural birth, an emergency C-section and a VBAC. My C-section recovery was the easiest by far. I think that birth rates are down because more women are choosing to have careers instead of families.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. mnm

    *barf* I am always amazed how a relatively positive article (lower teen pregnancy and pre-term birth rates, for example) is tainted with anti-abortion comments. Go find another forum to try and control my reproductive rights, you loonies! Ps: my body is NONE of your business. A fetus less than 24 weeks is not viable outside of the womb, so it's not a "child" that needs to be "saved". It's Christmastime and how many of you anti-abortion weirdos are adopting families of 6, 8 or more kids to buy presents for and provide for financially for all of 2011? I bet the answer is 0, yet you continue to push your rhetoric on women who make the best decision for themselves and their bodies.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dUKES

      Women want to live their lives and obtain financial security before doing the hardest, most wonderful job in the world: to be a mom!
      In SW Florida these religious nuts picket outside of planned parenthood with signs screaming at women going in for birth control pills, medical procedures or physicals. I have to walk by them with my daughter to the school bus.
      I don't see them donating time and money towards the children already here, with no family living in foster care or going without this Christmas.
      Imagine how awful this world would be if these fanatics had their way?

      December 20, 2010 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • ray

      Not every pro-life person is a religious nut. I'm staunchly pro-life, against it in almost all cases, and I'm an atheist. I simply do not believe that just because the baby is in your body, you have the right to kill him/her. It's very easy to see how killing a baby has nothing to do with religion.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:50 | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      I believe in a fetus's right to choose.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:25 | Report abuse |
    • Larry Lupus

      So you are against abortion after 24 weeks?

      December 20, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse |
    • RCC

      OK dUKES, by your logic, orphans or foster care kids should be aborted as well because they are a draw on society. Why stop there? How about the poor not-working elderly? What good are they? They're just a tragedy, so let's kill them too, so we don't have to be reminded of our responsibility as human beings. Can you hear it? It the march of the socialists here to make us all a number. If you don't satisfy their criteria..

      December 20, 2010 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
    • Valerie

      A REAL woman is pro-life at all costs.

      Men takes lives, women nurture it.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • Roxanne

      I used to be an Obstetrical Technician and you would not BELIEVE the number of women at 35/36/37 weeks wanting to be induced b/c they are tired of being pregnant . And when a " Social" (not medically indicated) Induction was done a lot of times these ladies went to Section. Inducing labor at 37 weeks is asking for trouble. I've even seen them done a time or 2 at 36 weeks . The Due Date is a guesstimate. A lady can be 38 weeks " by dates" but whoopsie! the baby is actually 36 weeks growth-wise. The longer the "Bun" is in the "oven", the better it is FOR THE BUN! Thanks to abortion we have forgotten that children ( both born and unborn) are humans in their own right. The DNA is human and even though a baby can't live outside the womb before 24 weeks she is still very much alive IN the womb. ( With a hearbeat starting at about 21 days after conception).

      And HELLO! to Ray the Pro-Life Atheist!

      Folks, check out these other Anti-Choice ( actually Pro LIFE!) groups:
      Feminists For Life
      Pro Life Alliance of Gays and Lesbians
      Pagans for Life

      Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanza and a Happy, and a Blessed Yule to all you Pagans out there!

      December 20, 2010 at 12:47 | Report abuse |
  14. momof2

    I had my first child by c-section and will have my 2nd by c-section as well. I have never had a natural birth but after my first c-section i was up and around on my feet within hours and the recovery was so very easy and simple. Does the belly pooch suck – absolutely but I was not recovering for 6 weeks after which was wonderful. To each is own – birth rates are down because American women want a career now not family. This is why Americans will soon become the minority majority – immigrants come to the USA and pop out 5 children before an American woman is ready to even consider her first child.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • mother of four

      I've had four kids, was on my feet and moving within an hour of delivery, and I've never spend six weeks recovering (was up to exercising three days after my third). I will not debate medically a necessary C-sections, but you need to understand that your experience is not most. C-sections are not not minor surgery and complications for both mothers and babies are common. So common that they've become the norm and women have stopped questioning them. Jaundice, respiratory problems, and others are practically a given. Did you know that many, if not most, women who have C-sections wind up unable to nurse because the hospital begins almost immediately giving the baby fluids with a bottle while the mother is recovering instead of allowing the baby to nurse immediately after delivery? It also delays the milk coming in because the body wasn't ready for the baby to be born.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:15 | Report abuse |
    • sandy

      I had emergency C section after there was no progress and it was not an easy recovery. I will say it was awful, i couldn't do anything for month, if i think about it,i can cringe. The worst part,i got infection, had IV antibiotics and went to hospital for straight month. On top of that i had bad problems with tail bone,i couldn't turn anywhere, i had pain in front and back of my body, i needed to depend on pain killer. Now if i look at my scar, it is so bad. With this experience, i don't even want to think about having another baby.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:13 | Report abuse |
    • KDW31

      While I'm glad you didn't have to recover for 6 weeks, you do realize recovery after a natural birth is much easier. I was up and walking around hours after my son's birth. I started exercising a couple of days after his birth. I very much doubt that most people with a c-section are able to do that.

      December 20, 2010 at 16:23 | Report abuse |
  15. Judith

    Abortion is legal in this country and terminating a pregnancy is not "killing" a child. I think every child should be a wanted child and if a woman is not prepared to care for a child, she has the right to terminate a pregnancy. Of course, adoption is the preferred option, but it's every woman's choice. Let's never go back to the bad old days of botched illegal abortion and women dying because of it.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Havard

      AMEN

      December 20, 2010 at 09:04 | Report abuse |
    • ray

      Nope, abortion is murder. You may be okay with that but don't pretend that it's not the murder of a baby.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      Abortion is the murder of the most vulnerable. It may be legal, but it is nothing less than murder.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:07 | Report abuse |
    • RCC

      So you're saying it's murder if you whack the baby over the head after it passes the 14 inches down the birth canal, but if you kill it while it's still in the womb it's just "terminating the pregnancy?" Sounds like someone wants to live in fantasyland to make themselves feel better.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:55 | Report abuse |
    • Roxanne

      Ah, Judith, how can you be SURE women aren't dying? Most states don't keep tabs on that. And who's to say that it is TRULY a woman's "choice"?

      Do check out Feminists for Life, started by a Christian and a Witch who were booted out of their chapter of NOW for having the GUTS and HONOR to stand agaisnt abortion. Even our Feminist Foremothers condemned abortion. My personal favorite comment is from Elizabeth Cady Stanton:

      "When we consider that women are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should treat our children as property, to be disposed of as we see fit."

      December 20, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
  16. hammertime

    Another reason not to have children: the likelihood that the doctor will have to cut open your belly these days in order to have a healthy childbirth.

    December 20, 2010 at 08:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Christy

    The last few weeks of pregnancy doctors begin to groom their patients for a c-section by telling them that their baby is big. A whopping 8lbs. This way the mother agrees to be induced when it's convinient for their OB. They are giving several interventions that work against nature. Then the doctors want to blame it on the mother by telling them they failed to progress. They are rushed to an "emergency" c-section and a 7.1 pound baby is delivered. Not so big after all. Cha ching...more money in the doctors pocket and they make it home to dinner on time. When doctors and women start trusting nature only then will c-section rates will go down.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roxanne

      THANK YOU, CHRISTY!!! I saw a lot of THAT garbage , too! Oh, and crank up the Pitocin and tra-la! the baby is in distress and off to the OR we go! It's unbelieveable some of the stuff that goes on on the "Labor Deck!

      December 20, 2010 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  18. Len

    By that way of thinking, it also means that we shouldn't kill viruses and parasites. How about the mice or rats we kill in our own home? I personally would not get an abortion but I feel it is a woman's choice. Children are parasites until they can live outside of the woman – a parasite that is just as likely to kill the mother.

    As well, if children belong to the 'world' why don't you start taking care of them? Personally, if you can't afford a baby or are unable to take care of it, abort it or give it up for adoption. There are too many unwanted children in this world.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Interesting Point

    While the word 'killing' used by 'Bill' elsewhere in the comments is obviously an inflammatory term employed as an attempt to raise the ire of readers of this article, his core point is mildly intriguing. It would be interesting to contrast the trending percentages of abortions in these same age ranges against the birth trends presented in this article.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Give me a break

    @Judith...
    Hey..... there you are. I was wondering when you were going to show up. That one fatalistic voice in the crowd that gives the same old routine answer...."Well, women are going to do it anyway....blah....blah.....botched abortions....blah...blah... back alleys....blah....blah". You can call it what you like, I call it infanticide. Yep, "terminating the pregnancy" sounds a hell of a lot better than "killing your baby". Sure, it's legal.....but it's still wrong now matter how you look at it.
    And as for those in the crowd that want to flip to page 2 in the "Pro-abortionists Guide to Lame Answers" handbook, the man does have a say in what happens to that child. That argument is so utterly ridiculous. Just because nature dictates that the women carries the child, that somehow gives you the right to be judge, jury, and executioner and play God and decide whether a human being lives or dies. Riiiigggghhhht.....nice argument.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. NovaMom

    j

    December 20, 2010 at 09:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Stark

    Of course, ethnic breakdowns are omitted.

    Needless to say, the sad march toward white minority status continues unabated.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • msaprilr

      You make it sound like white folks are going to disappear. I doubt that. Seems to me that the situation only further solidifies the dominance of white folks in this country. They carefully plan their families so that they are sure to have enough resources to give their kids the advantage. And the latest studies show that the trend among white, educated people is to carefully choose who they breed with (even going so far as genetic testing) and they are staying together in traditional marriages to raise their kids. That puts rich white children miles ahead of the others. Looks like a rapidly developing class of rich, white elite to me.

      December 20, 2010 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
    • Calvin

      I' m white, but I don't see why it is so sad. Its not like we white people have the market cornered on morality or righteousness. Just saying...

      December 20, 2010 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
    • SandyC

      White people may be having fewer babies, but they will be better educated and more financially secure.
      Don't worry, our people will continue to run this country.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:17 | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      Why is it sad? Why does it matter? Do you think you're better than anyone else you lunatic?! Intermarriage is on the rise & this might account for the changes. Intermarriage is the BEST thing since slice bread. Now you & racist retarded offsprings you breed will have to judge people based on their heart & character, not their color.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:46 | Report abuse |
  23. NovaMom

    Christy's interpretation was correct for me. I was schedule for an induction, but later just scheduled for a C-Section – due to a suspected large baby. They sonographers said between 8.5-11+lbs. When I asked my Dr. for her opinion, she said they always say the C-Section is safest for the baby. After my own researh, I wasnt so sure about it. I read the weight by sonogram was notoriously off by 1.5lbs in either direction – in other words, they just dont know! Plus – little research has show C-Sections safer for babies unless they are truly very large (over 10lbs). Also – some women may have a 10lber no problem, while another may have issues delviering a 7lber. You wont know till you try. Fortunately for me I went into labor 4 days early, listened to my instincts, and the advice of an L&D nurse – and deliverd a healthy 8lb 10 oz baby boy with no complications. C-Section avoided.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. heat

    Did you people ever stop and think the reason why c-section rates are increasing is because birth rates are also increasing!! More births= more c-sections- simple concept.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fact-checker

      Actually, a birth rate increase wouldn't mean that the c-section rate would automatically increase. Since they are 'rates' they are just percentages, not totals. If we have 100 more babies born this year than last, then it stands to reason that the number of c-section surgeries would increase as well, but that wouldn't change the rate of c-section surgeries.

      The article says that the birth rate has actually fallen while the c-section rate has increased so totals and rates don't necessarily move together or in corresponding amounts.

      December 20, 2010 at 10:11 | Report abuse |
  25. msaprilr

    Scares me how many women are willing to let someone cut open their abdomen for no good reason. I'm an athlete and I definitely wouldn't let them do that. I have friends who've had C sections and they all tell me that their abdominal muscles never recovered even years later. I couldn't do my sport without extremely strong abdominal muscles. Any doctor comes at me with a knife is getting kicked in the teeth. Anyway, I'm glad births are down. There are already too many people in this country and at least half of them are idiots.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lolll

      man you are stupid and shallow, these women don't have choice to get a c section idiot. It seem you are one of these idiot who where born

      December 20, 2010 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
  26. Kevin

    Bob Barker said it best," please control the pet population." There are to many people in the world!!

    December 20, 2010 at 09:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. 13Directors

    Just curious Bill. Do you believe in the death penalty? I believe in both – btw.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Fact-checker

    The World Health Organization states that a 5-10% c-section rate is normal in today's industrial societies. They further state that anything above 15% is excessive and creates more risk for both mother and infant. So why are we closing in on 33%?

    December 20, 2010 at 09:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. ApeHanger

    Notice how the article carefully avoids indicating which group is experiencing the lower birth rate. Can't be offending anyone y'know.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • CW

      You're trying to make a point for which you have nothing intelligent to say. Please try harder next time.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
  30. JamieinMN

    @MXD- I agree with, I'llbethejudgeofthat. Until YOU can carry a child of your own, you have no final say. OUR bodies OUR decisions.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Hannah

    This is to MXD who said "A child's life is EVERYONE'S business, not just women's." Then are we all going to take care of those babies that women can't afford to have. Instead of going to foster care for 18 years they need to be loved and nurtured by you. It seems in today's society we are cutting more services to the poor and there are fewer life lines, medical care, for these poor families. I bet you are for cutting government services as well.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. CNN is mostly fluff

    Another example of poor journalism. Fails to answer the question of why births are declining. Maybe a tough economy has something to do with it? We don't know.

    December 20, 2010 at 09:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • afw

      How could you even know that answer for certain? You could guess, but you can't exactly question every woman who *didn't* give birth in 2008 and ask her why.

      December 20, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
  33. Kat

    I gave birth at the age of 45 last year. It was a real surprise! I wonder what percentage of births over the age of 45 has gone up the past few years. This one only goes to age 44. lol

    December 20, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Calvin

    well of course birth rates are down. According to CNN, 85% of the population is gay.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Me

    Of course the births are down – in this economy who can afford to have kids? They cost a fortune..I am 32 yo and would love to start a family; but with my husband's job being so insecure, and myself not being able to find permanent work (only temps, consulting, etc ), I am not sure how having a family at this point is possible...
    It's the economy stupid!

    December 20, 2010 at 10:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. gKa

    Births are down, no wonder.. You get 3 months off from work, half of that time is unpaid. Who can afford to have a baby these days?

    December 20, 2010 at 10:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Damien

    well of course they are, given the deportations as well as the publicity surrounding illegals giving birth here, you can only expect those numbers to drop, and keep dropping

    December 20, 2010 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. JSM

    What the article failed to mention is that C-sections are being used more due to women being overweight. Doctors are telling women who are overweight to be prepared for a C-section instead of a natural birth because it's less strain on the baby. My bestfriend is 30 weeks pregnant and will more than likely have to have a C-section. The baby is also breached and a natural birth could cause a whole list of problems is she has a natural birth.

    December 20, 2010 at 10:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DrFood

    Apparently the birth canal is becoming like pizza places are nowadays: fewer and fewer of them are delivering.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Carl

    A few notes here that seem to be missed. First, 2085 babies per 1000 women is just about replacement level. The only reason America is growing is because of immigration. Second, minorities are the ones having the babies. White women have far fewer babies, meaning the demographics of America will be dramatically different in about 30-45 years (not a huge shock). The real problem with all of this is the number of babies born to single mothers. That's what's really causing our country problems. Marriage is NOT old-fashioned or just a religious/conservation battle-cry – it makes social and economic sense, not to mention the other benefits.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Crazy Waiter

    Stupiest comment ever?

    Valerie the idiot says:

    A REAL woman is pro-life at all costs.

    Men takes lives, women nurture it.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Crazy Waiter

    I always find it hyprocritical that Christians are against abortion but also pro death penalty. And Christians don't want abortions but are for cutting government programs to help poor unwed mothers. Amazing.

    December 20, 2010 at 11:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Carl

      This argument holds no water. You're talking about the difference between innocent unborn babies and hardned convicted criminals...That point doesn't seem to be too difficult to defend.

      December 20, 2010 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  43. Give me a break

    @JamieinMN...
    It's not YOUR body though. See, there's the fatal error in your misguided reasoning. It's the baby's body. Sure... you're OK with "terminating the pregnancy" (AKA "killing an unborn baby") because you're not the one who's dead when it's all over.
    Better go and check.....it might be time to renew your N.O.W. membership.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Jon

    My daughter weighed 11 pounds 6 oz at birth. My wife is a small woman of very slight build. After trying for 14 hours there was no way it was going to happen the normal way. A C-section was done. I believe that it saved both of their lives. Our doctor told us that there might be problems due toour daughters size, but gave her the option of trying the normal method.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. The Jackdaw

    Humanity needs to stop breeding. We are cancer.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. billtomlinson

    Same article on Reuters has the general fertility rate at 68.7 per 1000. The stat here is more than a typo.

    December 20, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. The Jackdaw

    I EAT CUPCAKES!

    December 20, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. a2rjr

    Some people don't want to bring another person into a life of paying for national debt the current government has foisted upon us all.

    December 20, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. joe

    human births?? why is there a picture of a baby monkey at the top? i am confused.

    December 20, 2010 at 13:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. luvanurse

    @ Judith: " if a woman is not prepared to care for a child, she has the right to terminate a pregnancy"; how about NOT getting pregnant in the first place???? Wow!! there's a foreign concept!!! i dont have any children; i CHOSE NOT TO and frankly i'm tired of paying to take care of children because of adult irresponsibility!!! This is the United States!; no excuse for getting pregnant if you dont want to be!!!

    December 20, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.