Just-released studies show that premature births were up 2% in 2004, due, researchers said, to the increased incidence of fertility treatments, which often result in multiple and/or pre-term births.
Also up: C-sections. Some doctors say it's older women not wanting to deal with complications. Another doctor gives a more likely [to this cynic] explanation: "If you have a bad outcome and haven't performed a C-section, you are at significant risk legally. In an environment driven by fear of litigation, you're less willing to wait. That absolutely has an impact." Great. Also: VBAC's [vaginal births after c-section] were down 13%, and have gone down 67% since 1996.
Premature Births Increase Along With C-Sections [nyt]
Preliminary Births for 2004: Infant and Maternal Health [cdc.gov/nchs]
And finally, Do babies dream? Yes. [Did someone get tenure for this?]