The surprising factor behind a spike in C-sections

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/multimedia-article/csections-delivery-risk-podcast/

 

Cesarean delivery of a baby—or C-section—is the most commonly performed surgery in the world.

Rising C-section rates are a problem all over the world—but it’s particularly notable in the United States.

C-sections have skyrocketed in the U.S. since the mid-1970s. In just one generation, this country’s C-section rate has increased 500%.

One in three babies are now born via C-section—compare that one in 20 in the mid-70s.

And a mother who has a C-section for her first delivery is overwhelmingly more likely to have C-sections for future deliveries.

And while it’s incredibly common—it’s still major surgery—with a range of potential complications such as hemorrhage or infection.

It’s estimated that nearly half of C-sections may be avoidable—but to prevent them, researchers need to find out what exactly is driving the dramatic increase in their use.

(click the link above to listen to the podcast from Harvard School of Public Health)

Your Biggest C-Section Risk May Be Your Hospital

https://www.consumerreports.org/c-section/your-biggest-c-section-risk-may-be-your-hospital/

Consumer Reports finds that your risk of a cesarean section can be more than nine times higher depending on the hospital you choose.

The most common major surgery performed in the U.S isn’t to remove an appendix or replace a knee. It’s to deliver babies by cesarean section, or C-section.

Roughly one out of every three babies born in this country—or about 1.3 million children each year—are delivered this way, instead of vaginally. Yet the vast majority of women prefer to deliver vaginally, according to a January 2017 study in the journal Birth.

So what’s going on?

(click link above to read on consumerreports.org)

The Neonatal ICU Gets a Makeover

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-neonatal-icu-gets-a-makeover-1498443000

Hospitals are taking premature infants out of isolated incubators and into rooms where they can have close contact with their parents.

Hospitals are rethinking the way they care for premature babies.

The traditional neonatal intensive-care unit puts preterm babies—those born before 37 weeks—into incubators in a room with six to eight other infants. But hospitals are starting to realize that premature infants benefit from close physical contact with their parents.

One of the latest NICUs, in Beacon Children’s Hospital of South Bend, Ind., was designed around this idea. There, families can stay together for weeks or months in private rooms that facilitate skin-to-skin contact—also known as kangaroo care—between parent and baby.

(click to read on WSJ.com)

Don’t Tell Women There’s No Point Making A Birth Plan

http://www.mumfidential.com/dont-tell-women-theres-no-point-making-birth-plan/

 

Don’t make a birth plan, it’s pointless, because birth is completely unpredictable.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard a woman being given this crappy nugget of pseudo-wisdom, I’d be rich enough to start my own luxury birth centre in St Lucia.

It’s fabulously convenient to tell women this, actually, because not only does it totally discourage them from researching their birth options, making a plan and thus becoming one of those ‘tricky customers’ in the birth room who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to ask.

But also, once birth is over, if the birth was difficult or even downright unpleasant, you can ask her, “Did you make a birth plan?”, and if she says yes you can shake your head and say, “Oh dear”, in a way that basically implies, “I told you so”, and bingo, the whole sorry mess is her fault and everyone else is off the hook.

Actually, making a birth plan is one of the very best moves a pregnant woman can make.

 

(click link above to read on mumfidential.com)

Fearing childbirth may prolong labor

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/06/27/fearing-childbirth-may-prolong-labor/

Dr. Stuart Fischbein chuckled when he read the title of the press release: “Women with a fear of childbirth endure a longer labor.”

The release was promoting a study published this week in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.  Researchers at Akershus University Hospital in Norway found women who feared giving birth were in labor for 1 hour and 32 minutes longer, on average, than those who had no fear.

“I’m glad there’s now evidence to say that,” Fischbein said, “but it’s obvious.”

For those of us who aren’t OB/GYNs, it may seem more like a cruel joke. Women who are afraid of the pain and the possible medical complications associated with giving birth have to suffer through it longer?

(click link at top to read article on cnn.com)

Saving Babies’ Lives by Carrying Them Like Kangaroos

Skin-to-skin contact sustains premature babies where incubators are limited. It may even be the best form of neonatal care, period.

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/02/kangaroo-care/515844/

Carmela Torres was 18 when she became pregnant for the first time. It was 1987 and she and her now-husband, Pablo Hernandez, were two idealistic young Colombians born in the coastal region of Montería who moved to the capital, Bogotá, in search of freedom and a better life. When Torres told her father she was expecting, so angered was he by the thought of his daughter having a child out of wedlock that they didn’t speak to each other for years.

Before she had a chance to hold him, her baby was whisked off to a neonatal intensive-care unit. Torres was simply told to get dressed and go home. “I didn’t even get to touch him,” she says. “They said I could come back and see him but the visiting times were very restricted—just a couple of hours a day. When I did visit I was allowed to look but not touch.”

(click link above to read the story on theatlantic.com)