Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cesarean Awareness Month

I am so late with this, but I am hoping to keep in mind that late is better than never, right?

April is Cesarean Awareness Month. Did you know that? Have you come up with any ways to help spread awareness? If so, please list them! I'd love more ideas for next year. This year I got caught up with clients, school, and exams to do the legwork ahead of time. I am hoping to still put together a VBAC Q&A community event, but I am waiting to hear back from contacts about location.  I'll keep you all updated!

No onto some of the things that I have posted on Facebook so far. I was thinking of doing them individually, but I decided to just list them all in this one post in case I don't get back here before April is over. ;)


Did you know that our current national Cesarean Rate is 32.9%? That means that roughly 1 out of every 3 women who walk into a hospital to give birth, walk out recovering from major abdominal surgery. The World Health Organization, the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services, and other health organizations recommend a safe cesarean rate NO HIGHER than 10-15%, which means that approximately 1/2 - 2/3 of the cesareans done are unnecessary or were avoidable.

Concerns Over Rising Cesarean Rates


Cesarean Awareness Month Fact: 

Did you know that your OB is NOT supposed to recommend induction of labor for a baby who "seems to be large" at term? This is not only NOT evidence based, but it also leads to higher rates of cesarean section. Baby's weight plateaus at term, with adding only ounces per week. Half a pound or so is *not* going to make a difference between a birthable baby, and a baby who is "too big" for your pelvis. Fat squishes, and baby's skeletal size does not increase at term.

From ACOG: "Suspected fetal macrosomia is not an indication for induction of labor, because induction does not improve maternal or fetal outcomes." 


Did you know that in 2006 it was found that a cesarean delivery comes with a 3x higher risk of newborn death, than a vaginal delivery? The rates were found: .62 per 1000 deaths among vaginal births versus 1.77 per 1000 infant deaths among cesarean babies.


Did you know that a VBAC is possible, even after THREE Cesareans? 


Did you know that the majority of women who were diagnosed with CPD (Pelvis too small for baby) had other things going on, and that true CPD is extremely rare and occurs mainly when you've had a pelvic injury, or have had rickets?

Induction of labor, malpositioned baby, epidural, forced pushing, and pushing on your back (which decreases pelvic size by up to 20%) all increase the risk of "baby not fitting" - or baby not being allowed to come as he would without these interventions. Almost never does a woman *actually* have a pelvis that is too small to birth her babies ... and many moms with a label of "CPD" have gone on to not only give birth vaginally, but a good number of them have given birth to *larger* babies. ;) 


Did you know that being overweight puts you at higher risk for a cesarean? But it isn't for the reason you think. Many health care providers (of all kinds - not just OBs!) hold the belief that an overweight women cannot be healthy. Overweight women are often labeled with "Gestational Diabetes", even if their numbers are fine, and one higher blood pressure reading at term can have talk of induction begin. Women have been told that their vagina was "too fat" to give birth, that their baby would be huge because they were huge, or that they simply would not be able to push their baby out due to their size.

Having a cesarean if you are obese increases your risks dramatically. Obese women are at much higher risks of infection, issues with anesthesia, and blood clots. Taking steps to avoid one is key.