Cesarean Birth

epidual photoA Cesarean Section is major abdominal surgery and should be reserved for those times where it is truly medically necessary.  When a Cesarean Section is medically necessary we say thank goodness for the technology.  However, the risks of major abdominal surgery need to outweigh the risks of a vaginal birth.  On the whole vaginal birth is the safest option for the majority of mothers and babies. To help maintain a low risk status and avoid a cesarean section see out page on “How to stay Healthy & Low risk“. Preventing problems before they start will give you and your baby the best chance at a healthy birth!

Today the United States has a 32.7% cesarean rate, more than double that of the maximum rate recommended by the World Health Organization. The World Health Organization issued a new statement and research on this in 2015. However, the high rates of Cesarean sections has not corresponded with a lower infant or maternal mortality or morbidity. Recent studies show that cesarean rates vary greatly from area to area, and hospital to hospital. Additionally, “variability in hospital cesarean rates was not driven by differences in maternal diagnoses or pregnancy complexity,” said [lead study author] Kozhimannil. “This means there was significantly higher variation in hospital rates than would be expected based on women’s health conditions. On average, the likelihood of cesarean delivery for an individual woman varied between 19 and 48 percent across hospitals.”

To find out more about the cesarean rates for hospitals in your area check out this link: http://www.cesareanrates.com/2015/01/what-is-my-hospitals-cesarean-rate.html

Find your Ob’s Cesarean rate here.

According to a piece on Cesarean risks published in Medscape:“With the rising rate of cesarean deliveries in recent years, it is important for clinicians to be well versed in the complications associated with this procedure. Although cesarean deliveries have become dramatically safer over the past century, they are not without significant risks both to the mother and her newborn. Patients and providers need to understand these risks before embarking on this most common of surgical procedures.”

The most recent research from the CDC clearly states “Cesarean delivery carries higher risks for women than vaginal birth”  An accessible copy of the statement can be found here:https://www.facebook.com/notes/healthy-birth-of-rochester/vaginal-births-safer-than-cesarean-cdc-report-reaffirms/874542359283566

Mothers should research their chosen careprovider and birth place in order to determine if their chances of have a cesearean will be increased.  Take a Independent Childbirth Class, use a Doula, and learn how to stay Healthy and Low Risk.  Rochester Area Birth Network regularly offers Healthy Pregnancy, VBAC, & Cesarean classes.  Please check the Events page for more information. You can  also contact the International Cesarean Awareness Network for more information on Cesarean Sections and VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean).

Risks of Cesarean surgery include (but are not limited to):

Short term risks for mother:

•Maternal death
•Incidental surgical injuries
•Extended hospital stay
•Emergency hysterectomy
•Poor birth experience

Long term risks for mother:

•Risk of future c-section
•Placenta accreta/percreta/increta
•Placenta previa
•Uterine rupture
Risks for the Baby
•Neonatal death
•Respiratory difficulties
•Iatrogenic prematurity
•Breastfeeding difficulties
•Dental disease
The Childbirth Connection also has additional information.


Want to find out how to avoid a Cesarean Section? See our VBAC Page and our page on How to stay healthy & low risk.

Need support because you have had a cesarean section for the birth of your baby? Contact ICAN!

For more information on meeting dates please contact: Kim Guck or the Rochester ICAN chapter

Hospital Level Cesarean Rates by State, USA

Please contact the International Cesarean Awareness Network for more information.