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  1. Farrell, Maureen E. MD
  2. Lutgendorf, Monica A. MD


Cesarean births have increased in the United States, accounting for approximately one-third of all births. There is concern that cesarean birth is overused, due to the wide variation in rates geographically and at different institutions within the same region. Despite the rising rate, there has not been an improvement in maternal or neonatal outcomes. Consequently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine published recommendations aimed at the safe prevention of primary cesarean births in 2014. The purpose of this project was to identify the term singleton vertex cesarean birth rates in the Military Health System's hospitals; to compare the Military Health System's rate of term singleton vertex cesarean birth to published benchmarks; and to compare term singleton vertex cesarean birth rates over time and among facilities within the Military Health System to determine whether variation existed. This was a retrospective review of aggregate data reported by the National Perinatal Information Center. Data were analyzed over 9 years at 2-year intervals from 2011 through 2019 inclusively. The Military Health System exceeded national benchmarks for term singleton vertex cesarean birth rates and had less variation over time and among facilities.