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)
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)
(click link above to read the entire post on huffingtonpost.com)
Giving birth has nothing to do with pushing. It has nothing to do with contractions. It has nothing to do with pain.
Giving birth has everything to do with giving.
In this final sacrosanct act of pregnancy, all is set aside as the mother does whatever it takes to give her baby life. In every birth it requires different sacrifices. But the beauty of it, every time, is that the mother was willing to do it.
Pushing does not make a mother.
“New guidance from the RCOG states a vaginal birth after a previous caesarean section has a success rate of around 75%, which is the same as for first-time mothers.
Even if the woman has had two or more previous caesareans the success rate of a vaginal birth only reduces slightly to 71%.”
(click link above to read the post from 2015)
Babies get a lot from their mothers. But babies born by cesarean section don’t pass through the birth canal and miss out on the benefits from picking up Mom’s microbes on the way out.
Researchers studying the human microbiome have asked: Could there be a way to fix that? If so, it might help restore the microbes a baby naturally gets that help fight off disease and foster normal development.
A small study published Monday in Nature Medicine provides tantalizing evidence that it may be possible.
How? By slathering babies just after birth with a gauze pad that soaked up the microbes in their mothers’ birth canal right before birth.
(click link above to read on NPR.org)
When I read the January 11th New York Times Well blog, titled When A Big Baby Isn’t So Big, I looked back on my career as a labor nurse and thought, “Yep – happens all the time.” Predictions for a “too big baby” were among the most common reasons I heard from women admitted to my labor unit for induction of labor or scheduled cesarean sections. In most cases, once the baby was delivered, either vaginally or surgically, they weren’t all that big after all.
The New York Times blog is centered around a recent study based on Childbirth Connection’s national survey of 1,960 new mothers, called Listening to Mothers III. The survey indicates that four out of five mothers who were warned they might have large babies gave birth to infants who were not large, and weighed less than 8 pounds 13 ounces (which defines macrosomia – a larger than average baby). These mothers were almost twice as likely to have interventions like medical induction of labor or attempt to self-induce labor, presumably so their baby wouldn’t get too big to deliver vaginally. They were also nearly twice as likely to have planned C-sections, though as the blog mentions, researchers say that increase fell just short of being statistically meaningful.
(click link to read the blog on the Every Mother Counts website)
Fourteen years I have been practicing OB/GYN. I live in Frisco, Texas one of the fastest growing cities in the United States I really enjoy living and working here. It is a great place for my family and for the first time my office is attached to the one hospital I practice in. This is the third and final place I will practice medicine. I trained with some of the most respected academic OB/GYN’s in the country. These physicians contribute to the books on Obstetrics, create the practice guidelines for the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and taught me to practice medicine based on scientific evidence.
I follow a few simple rules; do no harm, give your patients options, and provide information so they can make informed decisions. So, last night I was sitting in my office looking at the fourth Cesarean Section (C/S) operative report of the day for yet another patient who wants to have a vaginal delivery following a previous C/S. I am frustrated and feel like I am fighting a losing battle.
(click above link to read a great article by an OB-GYN)