Friday, November 2, 2007

Reducing the Cesarean Rate

After talking with my previous doctors and my current midwife they affirmed my suspicion that my C-Section could have been avoided entirely. Why would anyone opt for having major abdominal surgery when it could possibly be avoided? I have no idea. Talking with a few of them assured me that the reasoning for my surgery should in no way hinder me from having a vaginal birth. My files say that I needed a C-section for FTP, which in medical terms means, 'Failure To Progress,' but as I've recently discovered the underground name for that is 'Failure To Be Patient.' They were sick of my labor taking so long so they tried to speed up the process. My water had not even broken yet, so I was fine continuing to labor, but they have rules and regulations and they wanted to hurry it along. I was one of many who need a room, remember! Once they tried to speed it along, I needed an epidural 'just in case' I needed to end up having a c-section. The reason for my c-section was 100% because I received an epidural. There are many side effects of epidurals that I will go into later. But for now, here is a great article for ways to reduce your chance of having a c-section.

If you would like to go to the site where I found this story, click here.

Reducing the Cesarean Rate
A look at the increase in the cesarean rate and ways you can reduce it!
© Brenda Lane

Oct 4, 2006
Vaginal birth in hospital, Jyn Meyer

The cesarean rate in this country is at an all-time high. What are ways that you can help to reduce your own chances of having a cesarean?

Looking back nearly 40 years, the cesarean rate in the United States in 1970 was only 6%. This meant that about 94% of women were giving birth vaginally in this country. However in 1987, it reached a whopping 24.4%. Many wondered if the trend would continue.

Although there was a slight decrease in the cesarean birth rate between 1990 and 1996, there has been a steady rise since then. In response, both the CDC and US Department of Health and Human Services in 2000 recommended that the national cesarean rate be reduced to what was considered to be a reasonable target of 15%. Was there reason to think that we could reach that target?

Unfortunately, in 2003, the cesarean rate grew again to 27.1%. Again the target set by the Department of Health and Human Services for cesarean births for the year 2010 at no more than 15% for a first time mother and 63% for repeat cesareans.

The reality is that our latest statistics do not show that we are anywhere near that goal. In fact we are moving in the wrong direction. In 2004, the statistics showed a 29.1% primary cesarean rate. The Listening to Mothers II survey reports a possible rate closer to 31% for 2005 or approaching nearly one third of all births in the United States. There are many possible reasons why the cesarean rate is so high right now including the high rate of inductions and the use of electronic fetal monitoring for nearly every hospital birth.

Is there anything you can do about the rising cesarean rate? If you are expecting, here are eleven ways to reduce your own chances of a cesarean:

1. Choose a provider with low cesarean rate and high VBAC rate.

2. Choose a supportive place of birth with a low cesarean rate. (Consider a birth center or homebirth.)

3. Use continuous labor support (doula) during labor and birth.

4. Delay getting an epidural until you are 5 cm dilated, the baby is at zero or lower station and the baby is rotated into the anterior position.

5. Take a good childbirth preparation class that reviews and practices a variety of pain relief techniques and positions for labor.

6. Write a birth plan.

7. Allow labor to start on its own and avoid a labor induction unless there is an indicated risk for you or your baby.

8. If you are low-risk, spend early and most of active labor at home.

9. Stay upright and mobile during labor and while pushing.

10. Realize that labor has its own timetable and pattern. Some mothers will need only hours to labor and others will need several days. Both are normal.

11. If your baby is breech, try methods to turn your baby to vertex or finding a provider skilled to deliver your baby in the breech position, instead of scheduling a cesarean.


Jennifer said...

Amy, I appreciate this information as I am looking forward to having a natural birth (in a hospital)! This is great information to prepare me.