Study reveals income disparities in post-cesarean childbearing

06/16/2014

Women who have cesarean deliveries are less likely to continue childbearing, especially as their number of cesarean deliveries increases -- but this relationship is less true among lower-income women, according to a new study in Obstetrics & Gynecology. Researchers looked at data for 6,526 women who participated in a government family-growth survey from 2006 to 2010. They found that among women with two births, those who had two cesarean deliveries were 27% less likely to have a third birth than women with two vaginal deliveries. For women with three births, the chances of a fourth birth were 37% and 59% lower for those who had two or three cesarean deliveries, respectively, compared with women with three vaginal deliveries. However, lower-income women were approximately 2.5 times more likely to have a fourth birth after two or three cesarean deliveries, compared to higher income women. The authors assert that more research is needed to understand this income disparity, given the higher risks of obstetric complications from multiple cesareans, such as placenta accreta and hysterectomy. Read the abstract.

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