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)

Evidence on Eating Dates to Start Labor

https://evidencebasedbirth.com/evidence-eating-dates-to-start-labor/

This has been a hot topic in the doula world for a while.

(Click link above to watch the video on EBB website regarding dates and labor!)

In today’s Q & A, part of our Natural Induction Series, we’re going to talk about eating the date fruit or Phoenix dactylifera to induce labor naturally. The date fruit contains a high percentage of carbohydrates and fats and also includes 15 different types of salts and minerals, proteins and vitamins, such as riboflavin, thiamine, biotin, folic acid, and ascorbic acid. Some Islamic scholars interpret verses in the Quran to mean that dates are one of the best foods to eat for childbirth. There have been three smaller randomized control trials on eating dates to induce labor and one observational study that asked women about how often they eat dates to induce labor.

In this video, you will learn:

  • About the studies that have been conducted on eating date fruit to find out whether it can improve birth outcomes with:

    • Cervical ripening
    • The use of labor induction/augmentation with oxytocin
    • Postpartum blood loss
  • If eating date fruit during pregnancy is safe

 

Group B Streptococcus Screening For Pregnant Women ‘Not Recommended’ By National Screening Committee (In the UK)

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/group-b-streptococcus-screening_uk_58d2861ee4b0f838c62e49a4

 

Screening pregnant women for Group B streptococcus (GBS) is “not recommended” by the National Screening Committee (NSC).

About 150,000 pregnant women carry GBS each year in the UK and, in some cases, will pass the bacteria to their baby in labour.

In January 2016, a couple appealed for the pregnancy screening to be made mandatory, after their baby died from an infection that could have been prevented if caught early by a simple test.

However at the time, the NSC said the test should not be offered to all pregnant women as there was “insufficient evidence” to demonstrate that the benefits would outweigh the harms.

Now, following a further comprehensive review of the evidence, the independent screening committee has stood by the decision to not recommended a national screening programme for GBS in pregnancy.

(click link at top to read on huffingtonpost.co.uk)

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)

ACOG Takes Big Step In Limiting Unnecessary Interventions During Birth

From doulas to movement, the group outlined ways to help curb intervention in low-risk moms.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/acogs-new-guidelines-urge-ob-gyns-to-scale-back-interventions_us_588903c7e4b0024605fd683d

(click link to read on huffingtonpost.com)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has released new guidelines encouraging OB-GYNs and other birth practitioners to re-examine the necessity of various interventions that may not necessarily benefit low-risk moms.

The new committee opinion does not signal a dramatic shift in best practices for managing uncomplicated labors, but it is a clear acknowledgement from ACOG that technological interventions can often times interfere with a natural process rather than help it along.

“This committee opinion is the first one, to my knowledge, that specifically addresses low-risk patients,” author Dr. Jeffrey L. Ecker, chief of the Obstetrics and Gynecology department at Massachusetts General Hospital told The Huffington Post. “It says, very clearly, that there are some times when watchful waiting is appropriate. Just because we have the technology, doesn’t mean it has to be used in every patient.”

Many doctors and hospitals already embrace measures to limit intervention when appropriate, he said. But for others, this will likely shift the standard care.

 

(click link at top to continue reading on huffingtonpost.com)