Share of births per day of the week


Share of births per day of the week over the years

This week we take a look at the share of births per day of the week over the years.

As it is obvious from the chart above, births on weekends have become rarer and rarer, due to more women opting in for a scheduler delivery, either by c-section or by induced labor. In 2009, there were 39% fewer births on weekends compared to weekdays, the largest deviation on record.

In the same year in the United States, more than one-third of newborns were delivered by c-section. 

More alarmingly, c-sections outnumber vaginal births in parts of southeast Europe, Latin America, and China. A glooming example is Greece, where 60% of births are via c-section. For reference, the World Health Organization considers the ideal rate for cesarean sections to be 10-15%. 

Possible complications from a cesarean section include infection of the wound or womb lining, blood clots, excessive bleeding, damage to nearby areas, such as the bladder or the tubes that connect the kidneys and bladder as well as temporary breathing difficulties in the newborn, especially if it's born before 39 weeks of pregnancy.

So why are c-section on the rise? According to this article from "The Atlantic":

C-sections spike around morning, lunchtime, and the end of the day, which could be interpreted as induced demand by doctors who are responding to scheduling pressures: getting to office hours, eating lunch, going home. 

From my own little research on CDC's Natality data I also found that on weekends, c-sections drop by a noticeable 30%.

Another reason listed in the article above is "that physicians are routinely paid on average 15% more for a C-section than they are for a vaginal delivery. The prevailing logic is that a C-section is major surgery, so the physicians’ payment should reflect the greater potential for complexity." 

While this study from Patricia K. Foo, Robin S. Lee and Kyna Fong showed that the more physicians are paid for C-sections relative to vaginal births, the higher the C-section rates become.

What are your thoughts?