C-Sections increase risks for mothers and infants. The procedures drive up costs and increase risks for mothers and babies, a Consumer Reports’ investigation finds. ‘
Pregnant women put a lot of trust in their doctors and hospitals. But a Consumer Reports investigation of more than 1,500 hospitals in 22 states suggests that such trust may be misplaced. It found that in many hospitals, far too many babies enter this world through cesarean section.
While some C-sections are absolutely necessary for the health of the mother or baby, the high C-section rates in our low-scoring hospitals are “unsupportable by professional guidelines and studies of birth outcomes,” said Elliot Main, M.D., director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative and former chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco, who reviewed our data.
Our Ratings reveal that C-section rates vary dramatically—even between neighboring hospitals. For example, almost 55 percent of pregnant women anticipating low-risk deliveries—that is, women who haven’t had a C-section before, don’t deliver prematurely, and are pregnant with a single baby who is properly positioned—nonetheless undergo a C-section atLos Angeles Community Hospital. But at California Hospital Medical Center, also in Los Angeles, the rate of C-sections for low-risk deliveries is 15 percent; at Western Medical Center Anaheim, 28 miles away, it’s about 11 percent.
(click link above to read more findings and see hospital ratings on Consumerreports.org)