Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

U.S. Women Delay Motherhood

Preterm births, low birth weight babies declined in 2011, report says


In 2011 the rate of cesarean delivery remained about the same as the year before -- nearly 33 percent of all births. Previously, the number of women undergoing C-sections had increased steadily, jumping 60 percent from 1996 to 2009.

Meanwhile, the rate of preterm deliveries (before 37 weeks) dropped in 2011 for the fifth straight year to 11.7 percent of all births, down 2 percent from 2010 and 8 percent from its high in 2006.

The rate of babies born at a low birth weight in 2011 was 8.10 percent -- down somewhat from 8.15 percent in 2010 and 2 percent lower than the 2006 peak of 8.26 percent.

Other notable findings: Multiple births were relatively unchanged in recent years. Twins accounted for 33.2 per 1,000 total births in 2011.

Births of triplets and more also remained unchanged at 137 per 100,000.

Dr. Mitchell Maiman, chairman of obstetrics and gynecology at Staten Island University Hospital in New York City, said he expects that women will continue to postpone childbirth.

"More and more women are not only in the workforce, but more women are the primary breadwinner in the family," he said.

"So you are going to have more women who are delaying childbearing to enhance their careers. And you have amazing technology to enable them to accomplish that," Maiman said. "You are going to see older and older mothers."

1 | 2

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

hand circling date on calendar
Track your most fertile days.
woman looking at ultrasound
Week-by-week pregnancy guide.
Pretty pregnant woman timing contaction pains
The signs to watch out for.
pregnant woman in hospital
Are there ways to do it naturally?
slideshow fetal development
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
What Causes Bipolar
Woman trying on dress in store
pregnant woman
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
healthtool pregnancy calendar
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy