The number of babies born via cesarean section around the globe nearly doubled between 2000 and 2015 — and experts are calling it alarming.
After studying data from 169 countries that include more than 98 percent of the world's births, researchers determined the amount of C-section births worldwide surged from about 16 million to 29.7 million in that 15-year period.
The researchers note C-sections can save both mother's and babies' lives in medically necessary situations. But they're concerned about a rise in UNNECESSARY C-sections because the surgery can create some serious side effects like infection, bleeding and increased risks during future pregnancies.
One of the study's authors told CNN, "We knew that globally, C-section rates were increasing for quite some time now, but that now more than one in five babies are delivered by C-section is striking."
The study comes not long after the World Health Organization published new guidance to address the QUOTE"sustained and unprecedented rise" in C-section rates across the world. The guidelines are specifically designed to reduce unnecessary C-sections and cut down related risks to women and babies.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.