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Pregnancy trends: 1 in 3 U.S. babies born by C-section; experts say number will rise. Here's why.

Posted by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:37 AM
  • 28 Replies


http://www.empowher.com/news/herarticle/2009/11/12/pregnancy-trends-1-3-us-babies-born-c-section-experts-say-number-will-ris


That's correct. One out of every three babies born in the United States is born by Cesarean section, a 50% jump from the last decade.

That means if you and two of your friends are pregnant, odds are that one of you will have a C-section.

"We think the rate is going to go up even more," Hope Ricciotti, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School in Boston, told CNN Health.

An excerpt:

"When the procedure is needed -- when the mother or baby is in distress or other factors make a vaginal delivery hazardous -- it can be a lifesaver. But only about 5 percent of C-sections are true emergencies, estimates George Macones, M.D., chairman of the departĀ¬ment of obstetrics and gynecology at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, in Missouri. Around 3 percent are completely elective, meaning there's no medical reason whatsoever, but the vast majority of C-sections actually fall into a gray zone: the baby looks big, mom is past her due date, labor isn't progressing well."

http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/11/11/caesarean.section.risks/index.html

This is a new story, and yet it's not. The rate has increased in every decade. Part of it is because our technology is better, the story says - we have the ability to detect problems earlier and in more detail. There are also older moms, more overweight moms and more multiple births. There are more labor inductions, which more often result in C-sections. More women are scheduling C-section deliveries ahead of time, some due to necessity, others to convenience. Malpractice concerns play a part.

And once you have a C-section, you are more likely to have others. So there's a domino effect.

In 2007, the Today show's Natalie Morales interviewed Dr. Judith Reichman about the rise in C-sections:

"The high rate is pretty much an American issue," Reichman said. "The latest statistics (reported in the New England Medical Journal) are that the Cesarean delivery rate is this country is greater than 30 percent. This means that over 1.2 million births a year are performed with abdominal surgery. The highest rate of Cesarean delivery - 35 percent - has been reported in New Jersey for the year 2000 (and the number is now probably higher). Compare this to the rate of 15 percent recommended by the World Health Organization. WHO haS found that Cesarean delivery rates, which exceed 15 percent "offer no population health benefits."

Here's a link to that full interview:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/17796664/

Let's say you're pregnant with your first child. You don't expect any complications, but you worry about them. What should you know going into labor and delivery, other than what to expect from a normal vaginal delivery?

EmpowHer has an overview page full of information about the procedure, as well as individual women's stories about their own experiences.

Here's our EmpowHer encyclopedia page on exactly how a C-section takes place, with details and a diagram:
http://www.empowher.com/media/reference/cesarean-birth

And here's an EmpowHer video from Dr. Philip Darney, a Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco

(UCSF) and Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at San Francisco General Hospital:
http://www.empowher.com/media/video/video-dr-darney-caesarean-section-wh...

Here's an about.com page on the differences in recovery between vaginal birth and C-section, and the timing of subsequent pregnancies:

http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/pregnancy/a/postpregbook_2.htm

And for women who are hoping to have a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC), here's the Mayo Clinic's guide. The page says that 60 to 80 percent of women who attempt a VBAC are successful, and includes a complete guide to the choices and the risks:
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/vbac/VB99999

At EmpowHer, we think there is nothing more powerful (and educational) than other women's stories. Did you have an unexpected C-section delivery? What was the reason?

Or, did you schedule your delivery ahead of time? And if you had another child, did you try for a vaginal birth after your C-section?

What would you tell pregnant women who are exploring this issue for the first time?

Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Mom to
Camden Kent 12/11/07
&
Benjamin Emil 05/17/09

by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:37 AM
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Replies (1-10):
MissiHampt
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I blame my c-section with my son on many things:

My water broke with no warning, called the dr and he had me come right in to the hospital.  As soon as I got there I was started on an IV and put into bed.  I didn't know better, so I stayed put.  I should have insisted on being allowed up to move around and walk.

At 8cm, things slowed down.  I know now that this is common, but didn't know then.  The dr wanted to start pitocin and the nurse scared me into accepting an epidural because of the pain the pitocin would cause.

I pushed, laying on my back, for 3 hours.  Had I not had the epidural AND had more education, I could have insisted in being in a position that was more effective. 

This baby is going to be  VBAC.  I know so much more this time around and I refuse to let the dr's interfere with what I know my body can do. 

Missi....loving wife to Jason, mommy to Ricky (1-12-05), and soon to be mommy to Logan Douglas (due Feb 2010).  I'm a cloth diapering, baby wearing, breastfeeding till baby wants to quit, homeschooling, non-circumcising, anti-cry it out, part time working, animal loving, trashy romance novel reading, farm raised hillbilly.  I have had Meningitis and Swine Flu and lived to tell about it.  Any questions?

bcjsmandie
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:47 AM

I personally am all for c sections....I would have killed for those instead of the deliveries I had...

Cecilias_mommy
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:49 AM

i would never elect for c-section (im scared to have one lol)

having a baby




kcook55
by Platinum Member on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM

i'm all for c-sections my c-section with my daughter saved her life without the c-section i wouldn't have my daughter today


CTRedSoxMom
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I don't blame you, I have had two, and wouldn't elect to have one either! LOL

Quoting Cecilias_mommy:

i would never elect for c-section (im scared to have one lol)


Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Mom to
Camden Kent 12/11/07
&
Benjamin Emil 05/17/09

Hrivera5
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I was pregnant along with 4 other women I knew.  I was the only one that had my baby vaginally.  I had my baby first, and then I was waiting for them to have theirs and one after another told me their c-section story.  2 of them were for failure to progress, 1 got to the pushing stage and couldn't push the baby out, and 1 was for breech presentation. 

 






CTRedSoxMom
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:55 AM

I am all for them when they are medically necessary. Without my second c-section, my son would not be here.

Quoting kcook55:

i'm all for c-sections my c-section with my daughter saved her life without the c-section i wouldn't have my daughter today


Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History

Mom to
Camden Kent 12/11/07
&
Benjamin Emil 05/17/09

kcook55
by Platinum Member on Nov. 12, 2009 at 11:59 AM

i agree when they are medically necessary but i dont think woman should have them just to be having them its way easier to recover if you have a baby natural (i had my son natural) 

Quoting CTRedSoxMom:

I am all for them when they are medically necessary. Without my second c-section, my son would not be here.

Quoting kcook55:

i'm all for c-sections my c-section with my daughter saved her life without the c-section i wouldn't have my daughter today




Bos_Boo
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:14 PM

They only do c-sections at the hospital I went to if they absolutely have to. My friend was in labor for a really long time with no progress at all before they finally did a c-section on her. They waited too long in my opinion. I've had 2 babies and had them both vaginally.

Come to think of it though, almost every other woman I know has their kids by c-section. They all had their babies at the same hospital too, which is about an hour from here. Another one of my friends had a scheduled c-section for her first baby. There was nothing wrong with her or the baby so I don't understand why they'd do that.

shis_mama
by on Nov. 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM

My DD was a csection baby for failure to progress. I was stuck at 2 cm with pitocin for well over 24 hours and my water had broke before that time. My incision opened up and healed wrong and I have had it looked a couple of times and I will be delivering by csection with this baby in April, but I will knock two birds with one stone, I will have the muscle and tissue reapaired, have baby and get my tubes tied.

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