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Quick Hit: The two faces of C-sections

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By Jill—Unnecesarean


From an article on womensenews.org:

In particular, the Moms acts show the two faces of C-sections in preventing and promoting maternal death.

In the developing world, limited access to C-sections is one reason mothers are dying in childbirth. While the Global Moms Act seeks to make C-sections more available to women who lack access to them, Roybal-Allard’s bill confronts what she sees as a problem of excess in the United States.

Cesarean sections in the United States account for nearly 32 percent of all births, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. The World Health Organization says the optimal rate for C-sections should not be less than 15 percent.

Reexamining Routine Practices

Roybal-Allard’s bill calls for a reexamination of the routine practice of elective Cesarean sections and scheduled inductions. It notes that both procedures put women at risk for hemorrhaging and infection, the leading causes of U.S. maternal death.

Cesareans are three times more likely to cause death than natural births, according to the World Health Organization.

Last summer Amnesty International released a report that found the U.S. lagging behind many developed nations in its maternal mortality ratio. Coming in behind 40 other countries, U.S. women were found to be five times more likely to die in childbirth than in Greece and four times more likely than in Germany.

The United States spends about $86 billion a year on hospitalization related to pregnancy and child care. Jennifer Dohrn, director of the midwifery education program at Columbia University in New York, thinks too much of that is paying for unwarranted Cesareans and inductions that can worsen maternal risks.

“We are misusing billions of dollars,” she said.


More on the Global MOMS Act:

H.R.5268 - Improvements in Global MOMS Act

The Global MOMS Act: From Commitment to Action

H.R.5268 [PDF—opens slowly]


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Reader Comments (2)

I think there is a typo... shouldn't it say "...the optimal rate for C-sections should not be MORE than 15 percent"?

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAmber Rhea

I agree. It should state "less than 15%". Quite a difference...

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMarie SNM
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