April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Following that in May is International Doula Month. The World Health Organization had an initiative called Healthy People 2010 initiative. The goal when the initiative was started was by 2010 to have a c-section rate of 15%. The 1998 baseline was at 18%. The National Center for Health Statistics released stats for 2007 on March 18th and c-sections in 2007 hit an all time high of 31.8 %. This is absolutely appalling to me and it should be to everyone. That means that approximately 32 women out of every 100 are having major abdominal surgery in order to have a baby. That was actually an increase of 2% from 2006. We are not talking about mole removal surgery. You can't remove a baby with a laparoscope either. People act as if having a c-section is no different than having your gallbladder out. People in the birthing community do not think it unrealistic that we will eventually see a 50% c-section rate. Boy am I glad I am done having babies.
The other goal that the Healthy People initiative had was a VBAC rate (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) of at least 37%. Anyone want to guess what the VBAC rate was in 2007?
8% is what the VBAC rate was in 2007. That's a far cry from 37%.
The real kicker is that there are 28 countries with lower maternal mortality rates (women dying around the time of birth) the we do and our numbers have been increasing over the last 25 years. (Statistics from Born in the USA by Marsden Wagner).
There are ways that you can decrease your risk of ending up with a c-section. The most important things you can do are to educate yourself and to carefully screen you provider. If your doctor is hesitant to tell you what there rates of inductions, episiotomy rates, c-section rates are then you need to wonder why.
The other most important thing that I think you can do is to have complete and total trust in your body's ability to birth your baby. Women have been giving birth for thousands of years without all of the interventions that women nowadays think they must have to give birth. Trust your body and don't listen to all of the negative chatter that people want to feel your heads with.
For more information on how to avoid a cesarean section and other information regarding cesarean sections and VBAC visit www.ican-online.org Unfortunately there is not a chapter in the Pittsburgh area although I have thought about it. If anyone would be interested in assisting me in starting one I would love to talk to you.
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