Caesarean Births Hit Record High in US

C-section births are climbing steadily in the United States, affecting one in three babies.  Click here to read the published report outlining the trend. It has become so commonplace that most women I talk to just assume they might have to give birth this way, not really giving it a second thought.  It is, however, major abdominal surgery and carries risks.  It is an amazing procedure when done to save mother or baby’s life, or in situations where complications have arisen, however often times today it is used for reasons other than life saving measures.  Physicians’ fear of lawsuits, patients requesting scheduled births for convenience and inducing labor on a baby who isn’t quite ready to come out are all reasons the Caesarean birth rate is now over 32% in the United States.

What can you do to protect yourself from a surgical birth?

Take a birthing class.  Many OB’s say they aren’t necessary, but that’s because the use of epidural anesthesia is 75-85% in the US, and once you have that you don’t need (and can’t use) anything you learned in a childbirth class.   I would never have succeeded in a totally drug-free natural childbirth if it weren’t for my amazing teacher Shara at Real Birth in New York City.

Become informed.  Watch The Business of Being Born
and read Pushed: The Painful Truth About Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care

You will be amazed at what you learn and how much you can do to take charge of your child’s birth.

2 thoughts on “Caesarean Births Hit Record High in US”

  1. This is terrific information. I would add, however, that it important to know yourself and your limits. There was a woman in my birthing class who was adamant about a drug free birth, and when the time came, she was so incensed by the pain that she could not relax enough for the baby to come down and ended up in emergency c-section anyway. The doctor said she would have been able to deliver with a lesser pain medication that could have taken the edge off enough for her to relax. Have a plan, and do the homework and prepare before the time comes (you have 9 months to work on it), but don’t consider yourself a failure if you get in there and need intervention–whether it be pain meds or an inevitable c-section. The most important thing is a safe memorable experience that you can be present for both mentally and emotionally.

  2. Hi Lisa!
    I’m so glad you pointed this out-thank you for your comment. It is important to remember that we live in the 21st century and pain relief is available if needed, and you are not a failure if your birth plan doesn’t go as you want it to. In fact, a very well known and respected ob/gyn friend of mine told me that the women who came in with the most rigid birth plans had the most stressful birthing experiences. It’s imperative to keep an open mind and listen to your body. Thanks again Lisa!

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