DefinitionThe method by which an infant is extracted from its mother
NumeratorNumber of method-specific births
DenominatorTotal number of live births
Why Is This Important?Compared to vaginal deliveries, cesareans carry an increased risk of infection, blood clots, longer recovery, and difficulty with future pregnancies. Reducing cesarean births among low-risk (full-term, singleton, and vertex presentation) women is a goal of the Healthy People 2020 initiative.
How Are We Doing?The cesarean delivery rate among New Jersey mothers declined in 2010 for the first time since the mid-1990s and in 2019 stood at 34% of births. The cesarean delivery rate among White mothers is significantly lower than among mothers of other racial/ethnic groups. The cesarean rate among Ocean County residents (the lowest in the state) is half the rate among Passaic County residents (the highest).
The cesarean rate among [https://www-doh.state.nj.us/doh-shad/indicator/view/MODLowRisk.Year.html low risk] (full term, singleton, vertex presentation) deliveries is a few percentage points lower than for all deliveries but demographic and trend patterns remain the same.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?In the early 1990s, the cesarean rate in New Jersey began to exceed that of the nation as a whole and continued to rise more quickly than the national rate. The rate has slowly decreased in recent years and the New Jersey rate is currently about 7% higher than the national rate.
What Is Being Done?In 2017, a team composed of DOH staff and external partners collaborated to develop a [http://www.njha.com/njpqc/healthcare-professionals/reducing-ntsv-c-sections/ plan to reduce low risk c-sections] in New Jersey hospitals. In 2018, DOH awarded [https://nj.gov/health/news/2018/approved/20180711a.shtml $4.7 million] to eight agencies to improve health outcomes among infants and mothers in New Jersey, including implementation of a doula pilot program to reduce the likelihood of certain birth and delivery/labor outcomes such as cesarean births. In 2021, the state [https://nj.gov/governor/news/news/562021/approved/20210202b.shtml Medicaid program began covering doula care], while also no longer paying for non-medical early elective deliveries.