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New Study on Increasing C-Section Rates

09.01.10 New Study on Increasing C-Section Rates

One of my good friends just had a baby.  I felt such an empathy for her-- she went through a week of latent labor before delivering her sweet and lovely baby boy.  Don't let me hear you call it false labor, mind you, because it is real and difficult and tiring.  By the time you start active labor, you are already exhausted.  

She told me her birth story and shared that at one point they wanted to wheel her off to have a C-section.  She flat out refused, and they tried again.  She delivered her baby boy vaginally, as she had hoped and planned.  If the baby or mother's life was in danger, of course, her objections wouldn't have mattered.  

But as I read this article, I thought of her.  A new study says that inducing labor often leads to C-sections, and that previous C-sections are the main cause for repeat C-sections.  The authors discuss the doctor's role in this:

"Zhang also says the study suggests that doctors may not be patient enough.  Researchers found that with first time moms attempting natural delivery, the decision to deliver the baby by C-section was made before the recommended three hours of "second stage of labor" (when moms are pushing) or before the moms were at least 6 centimeters dilated, both short of the recommended guidelines set by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists."

Also, many women are counciled into having a repeat C-seciton because of the risk of uterine rupture, even when that risk is less than one percent.  I've seen this happen with family and friends.  The article concludes with this important information for parents to be:

"The study concludes that if fewer women were induced, if better guidelines for the timing of Caesareans existed and if women were better educated about their ability to deliver a baby after a surgical birth,  it could help lower the number of C-sections in this country."

This article is definitely worth the read if you are expecting, hoping to, or are interested in maternal and family health issues.  

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