The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine both called for a reduction of C-sections, based upon a recently published study showing the increased risks. C-sections have risen 60% in the past 15 years, and account for one third of all deliveries in the U.S. The death rate is more than three times higher in mothers who undergo C-sections â€“ 13 deaths per 100,000 women â€“ than in those who deliver vaginally, and the risks for the baby are also increased.
Accordingly, the groups are urging doctors to exercise patience during labor, more often allowing nature to take its course. The standards that doctors have used to define a slow or stalled pregnancy originated in the 1950’s. Modern research shows that the range of time for a normal childbirth may be substantially broader than previously understood. According to the study, doctors should not automatically perform C-sections if the baby is in breech position (feet-first). Instead, doctors should try to manipulate the belly to turn the baby headfirst, which is successful in over 50% of cases. Doctors should also not immediately resort to C-section if the baby is large.There are certain scenarios where C-sections are the best course of action, but those situations only occur in 10%-15% of births, according to the WHO.
Obstetricians get paid the same regardless of whether the birth is from a C-section or a vaginal delivery. Of course, the fear of malpractice does come into play, causing may doctors to prefer jumping to a C-section, lest something goes wrong and either mother or baby are injured during a natural delivery.
Read this article on USA Today for more details.