Thursday, September 16, 2010

Physicians & Patients Less Committed to Vaginal Births ~ says NYT Article

Continuing in the national spotlight, our nation's rising cesarean rate recently got some press in the New York Times.  Reporter Denise Grady cited the AJOG study by Dr. Jun Zhang and Dr. S. Katherine Laughon that suggests the reasons for the rise in cesareans including "the increased use of drugs to induce labor, the tendency to give up on labor too soon and deliver babies surgically instead of waiting for nature to take its course, and the failure to allow women with previous Caesareans to try to give birth vaginally."

As few other journalist have, Grady goes on to point out the concerns surrounding cesareans and the risks that are involved in the abdominal surgical procedure.

Additionally, Grady states that "In the study, 44 percent of the women who were trying vaginal delivery had their labor induced. When Caesareans were done after induction, half were performed before the woman’s cervix had dilated to six centimeters, “suggesting that clinical impatience may play a role,” the authors wrote. Full dilation is 10 centimeters, and a Caesarean before six centimeters may be too soon, the researchers said.

“Physicians and patients may be less committed” to the vaginal births, the authors said.

Dr. Zhang said it appeared likely that the Caesarean rate in this country would keep increasing, though he said he hoped it would never match the rates in Brazil (70 percent) or China (60 percent). If there is any hope of reducing the rate in the United States, or at least slowing the increase, he and his colleagues said, the key is to lower the rate among first-time mothers and increase the rate of vaginal birth after Caesarean. "


Thanks Denise Grady.


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