You may have heard about how the rates of Cesarean section deliveries are increasing, and some people criticize doctors for pressuring women to take this route when it is unnecessary. On the other hand, you know that many mothers and babies in New York would not have survived were it not for this procedure.
According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as many as a third of women give birth through C-section rather than vaginal birth, and this represents a significant increase from the mid-nineties. Some of the common reasons you may expect a doctor to recommend a C-section delivery include the following:
- Labor that is failing to progress at it should
- A fetal heart rate that is abnormal
- An infant in the wrong position
- Twins or other multiple pregnancies
- An infant that is too large for the birth canal
Research indicates that some of the reasons for the increase, such as abnormal fetal heart rate, may be offset by the improved technology that allows closer monitoring. There are also indications that what has been considered abnormally slow labor by the medical community may actually be within the normal range, making a C-section unnecessary in some circumstances.
While you need to be able to trust your doctor and communicate with him or her throughout your pregnancy, labor and delivery, some studies show that your risk of a C-section delivery actually decreases with nonmedical intervention. In research involving over 15,000 mothers, support from a doula has been shown to reduce the rate of C-sections.
This information is general in nature, and should not be interpreted as legal or medical advice.