So, if there are all these risks, why would a woman choose to have a C-section? A lot of women would rather have their own OB deliver their baby, and scheduling a C-section would pretty much ensure they'd get the doctor of their choice as opposed to whomever happened to be on call when they go into labour. There's also this notion that a baby is full-term at 37 weeks, when, in fact, babies are really full-term at 39 weeks. Women think that at 37 weeks the baby is fully cooked and are uncomfortable, want to meet their little new one, and so schedule a C to take care of both those things.
While a good deal of women choose and continue to choose to have C-sections, many women don't have a choice. As we've discussed before, the thought of a VBAC (vaginal delivery after Caesarean) is almost unheard of. Doctors fear tearing and further complications with a VBAC and think they'll avoid malpractice by scheduling a C-section. Then there's the matter of childcare. When I was in the OB during my last few weeks of pregnancy I was offered a scheduled induction since I had my other child's care to think about (I opted to let nature take its course!).
It's impossible to say just how much unnecessary C-sections are costing us, but I bet it's in the millions each year. Perhaps in light of the risks to both mum and child the number of early C-sections will decrease!