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New Survey Shares Findings on C-Section Experience

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

I've been overwhelmed this week with great data, sources and blog ideas from readers and thus far, haven't had a chance to delve as deeply into researching them as I'd like. That said, I did get to skim the surface some today of a new

I haven't had a chance to read through all of this yet, but it looks like there is some really good information here.

These first quotes come from a media briefing that ACNM (American College of Nurse Midwives) did as part of their REDUCE campaign studying the state of c-sections in the U.S. today.

Some snippets from a few of the statements...

"Maureen Corry, MPH, of Childbirth Connection, a national not-for-profit organization that works to improve maternity care quality, presented data from Listening to Mothers, a national survey of women's childbearing experiences. The new survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® among women who gave birth in 2005, offers the first national data collected from mothers themselves on many views and experiences with cesarean section. "Mothers have spoken: Contrary to common belief, they are not electing to plan primary cesarean sections without medical reason; and furthermore, many believe that the current malpractice environment leads providers to perform cesarean sections that are not really needed. It's time for policy makers, health professionals, and women themselves to confront the legal, financial, clinical and other factors that contribute to the escalating U.S. cesarean rate."

"Voluntary cesarean surgeries are being sold as a woman's right to choose," says Lamaze International President Raymond DeVries, Ph.D. "But for a woman to choose the best option for her and her baby, she must know all the risks of surgical delivery and the comparative risks of a well-managed vaginal birth. Health care providers have the ethical and legal responsibility to provide this information to the women they care for."

Also note that data from Childbirth Connection's Mother's Survey on issues of primary c-section, whether medically indicated or not. (note, nearly all mothers stated that their sections were medically indicated)

Some interesting quotes from this one...

"Eighty-one percent of mothers stated that before consenting a c-section, it is necessary to know every possible complication, and 18% felt it necessary to know most complications. By contrast, most mothers who had cesareans were poorly informed about specific complications of cesarean section. Close to half of survey participants (42%-45%) were "not sure" about how to reply to four statements about complications of cesareans and 21%-33% responded incorrectly."

"Eighty-five percent of women agreed that a woman with a previous cesarean should be able to have a VBAC if she wants one, just 5% disagreed. However, the survey found that last year most women with previous cesarean had no recourse but surgery for giving birth. Just 12% of women with a previous cesarean had a VBAC. Of the remaining women who had a repeat cesarean, 45% were interested in the option of VBAC, but more than half (56%) of them were denied the option, primary because their caregiver (45%) or hospital (23%) was unwilling to do a VBAC."

While I find it encouraging to hear that women aren't choosing c-section for elective reasons (to avoid pain, to avoid supposed incontinence, etc...), I'm still upset to hear that most women that end up with a primary c-section are still not properly informed of the risks. I also find it pretty disheartening to hear the current state of VBACs and realize that we have a long road ahead in fighting to give women this option.

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