Its no wonder the joy of a positive pregnancy test starts to fade almost as soon as it’s discovered.
Only to be replaced by the realities of what it takes, and what one risks as she births a baby.
No, the nervous, uncertain feeling about birth is not just you.
It has nothing to do with your baby either.
In the early days of pregnancy, every thought of this new life brings smiles about those cute toes, and what will their smile be like? We relish in the joy that this new life is finally happening after the long road to get here.
And even when that positive line was unexpected and we feel unprepared, uncertain about how we will meet this new call, we still feel the magic and awe of creating new life.
But, just as starting a new hobby can go from exciting to overwhelming once undertaken, so motherhood becomes daunting almost as soon as it begins.
Unfortunately, birth in America is not always an ideal story. And mothers today have a complex world to navigate.
Today I want to share with you one powerful and simple tool that will help you have a safer birth and significantly reduce your chances of having an unnecessary C-section.
Why Is A C-Section A Big Deal?
You may be wondering, why is a C-section a big deal anyways? It’s absolutely true, that when used at the right time, a C-section could save the life of a baby or mom. Which is a good thing!
But, studies show, that unfortunately, the climbing C-section rates have not led to better outcomes for moms or babies overall. Not to mention, while birth is not easy for anyone, a C-section can be extra difficult on moms and babies.
These facts might help you get a picture for why so many moms are taking steps to prevent an unnecessary c-section. And why I am so passionate about sharing the steps a mom can take to make her birth safer.
1 Women are 50% more likely to die in the period surrounding pregnancy today than their own mothers were.
As support systems around women have deteriorated, the risks of childbirth have gone up. It has never been more important for women to be proactive about their health and to build a healthy and supportive community around themselves as they prepare for birth. Women are 50% more likely to die in the weeks right before birth, during birth or the weeks following birth than their own mothers were. Not to mention the United States has the highest maternal mortality rate and is the only developed nation where this number is increasing.
2. C-section rates have never been so high in America.
It’s true, one of the C-section facts everyone should know is that C-sections are the most common surgery in the United States. In fact, in 2019 over one million women had a C-Section. That’s 31% of births or one out of 3 women. If you are pregnant, and you imagine a pregnant friend standing on both sides of you, look to the right, then look the the left, statistically speaking, one of you will have a C-section.
3. An unnecessary C-section is more dangerous for a mother than not having a C-section.
The risks to women during a C-section can be dramatic. The risk of severe hemorrhage, bad infections like sepsis, organ injury, around three times higher with a C-section as compared to not having a C-section
4. It can take longer to bond with your baby after a C-section.
According to an article in the Journal Of Child Psychology and Psychiatry mothers who deliver vaginally have more activity in the emotional and parenting parts of their brain after delivery. This means that caring for their baby feels more rewarding than to other moms. Not surprisingly, these mothers are more responsive to their babies. C-section moms are obviously just as good of moms as others, but they may have to work harder for it.
5. Moms are more likely to experience post partum depression after a C-section.
Studies consistently show that moms who give birth vaginally have better physical health 2 months postpartum and better emotional health 4 months postpartum. The idea that a C-section is a quick and effortless surgery is a false promise. The consequences of a C-section will be with a mom for months, perhaps even years, after a delivery.
6. A C-section could have long term consequences for your baby.
According to one study that looked at long term consequences of a C-section on babies, it was determined that children born by C-section also suffer increased rates of diseases, including asthma, type I diabetes, allergies, obesity, as well as reduced overall cognitive functioning and lower academic performance.
7. It is estimated that half of C-sections could be prevented.
In an interview with the Harvard Chan School of Public Health Dr. Shah states that it is estimated that over half of all C-sections (in the US) could be prevented..
Is It Possible To Prevent A C-section?
The truth is that the soaring c-section rates have many causes. Including the way we as women take care of ourselves. There are more mothers going into birth as high risk patients, who are older, overweight and already suffering from choronic illness. However, many researchers conclude that the women going into birth are not the root cause of the problem at all.
Many women believe that if they go to their doctor, listen to what their doctor says, and follow instructions they will have done everything they need to to prevent a c-section. But that may not be the case.
In fact, the doctor (or midwife) you choose, and the location you choose can be the single most important factor when it comes to preventing an unnecessary c-section.
Yes, you can find this information in less than 5 minutes flat.
Here is what you are going to do:
Click this link to LeapFrog Group’s hospital search. This will open the largest data base of United States Hospital ratings.
In the search by tabs, click the option that says location. Enter your zip code.
A list of hopitals will show up with the nearest ones to you at the top.
Now – this is where it gets a bit tricky. You cannot compare each hospital side by side. You have to look at each hospital individually. But don’t worry, it’s a quick and easy process!
4. Scroll through the list of hospitals until you see the hospital you are considering. Click the green button that says View Hospital Ratings.
5. When the hospital information shows up, you need to scroll down to look through the green bullet points. Look for the one that say +Maternity Care. Click on it.
6. Once the Maternity Care Tab opens ceserean sections will be the first category. You now need to click the ORANGE words saying Show More On This Hospitals Performance and it will show you that specific hospitals c-section rates .
7. On the right, there is a green bar showing how close to Leapfrog’s standards the hospital has come. (Only 20% of hospitals meet their high standards, if you found one, celebrate!)
Click through several hospitals in your area to get a good idea of what hospital has you as their top priority.
So How Can You Protect Yourself From An Unnecesary C-Section?
Avoiding an unnecessary c-section is a worthy goal. And one you should be supported in. Choosing your care provider and birth location are two of the most important decision you will make when are trying to avoid a c-section.
When it comes to avoiding a c-section, you need to do three things:
Choose the best place to give birth.
Assemble and amazing team.
Prepare yourself for birth.
I hope this article gave you a good place to start. However, there is a lot more that you can do to prepare for birth that can be joyful, rewarding and most importantly safe. I teach about creating a safe birth and what skills and tools you need to get through labor in my courses. I would be honored if you took a moment to check them out.
TL/DR C-Section Rates By Hospital
Avoiding an unnecessary C-section is a worthy goal, and one that may take some planning and effort. Not every hospital is the same. In fact C-section rates by hospital vary from 7% to 70%. That is a HUGE difference.
Many women do not believe the location of their birth matters when it comes to their birth. The research shows that it does.
A mother can protect and advocate for herself by first, finding out the C-section rates by the hospitals near her. Choosing a hospital that has a lower C-section rate if possible and learning skills and tools that will help her get through labor.