We study the effect of Internet diffusion on childbirth procedures performed in England between 2000 and 2011. We show that broadband Internet access increased cesarean sections (C-sections): mothers living in areas with better Internet access are 2.5% more likely to obtain a C-section. The effect is driven by first-time mothers who are 6% more likely to obtain a C-section. The increased C-section rate is not accompanied by changes in health care outcomes; thus health care costs increased with no corresponding medical benefits. We show evidence documenting the growing importance of the Internet as a source of health-related information.

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