How To Avoid Caesarean Sections
One in five women in Canada and the
United States will have major abdominal
surgery to deliver their babies. These
surgical births or Caesarean sections
are the most common operation performed
in the United States and Canada. About
one million women in the U.S. and up to
66,000 in Canada get C-Sections every
Up to fifty percent of sections are
unnecessary. Forty percent are repeat
sections two to four times riskier for
the mother compared to vaginal births.
The United States has the highest
C-section rate in the world followed by
Canada and Australia. European
countries have half the C-section rate,
but the same good results for baby and
First Time Sections
- 20 to 30 percent of first sections due
to the catch all diagnosis of
- Dystocia refers to a difficult or
prolonged labour; failure of cervix to
open up fast enough; or pelvis too
- Incorrect diagnosis if made in the
latent or slow part of labour.
- Labour is faster if mother is moving
and walking throughout labour.
- Optimal position for pushing is
squatting or sitting semi-upright which
increases pelvic diameter.
Why The High C-section Rate?
- False belief that once a Caesarean,
always a Caesarean.
- Depends on the doctor's philosophy,
training, convenience, fear of lawsuits
and economic incentives.
- Some say,"once a cutter, always a
- Overuse of fetal monitors, inductions,
early rupture of membranes.
- Mother lying flat or immobile.
- Lack of skilled labour support.
- Lack of informed choice, find out what
your doctor's C-section rate is. If
it's over 15 percent, be wary.
When They're Recommended
- Severe complications during pregnancy
- Severe diabetes.
- Baby lying horizontally.
- Sudden fall in the baby's heart rate
during labour or delivery.
- Baby much too large.
- Active herpes, premature baby.
Do Not Repeat Section If
- Reason for first section does not
reoccur (most reasons do not).
- Healthy uncomplicated pregnancy.
- Horizontal and not a vertical cut into
uterus with previous section.
- Single baby in the normal head down
- No new reason for a cesarean develops
during pregnancy or labour.
- No more than one to two previous
Advantages Of Vaginal Births OverCaesareans
- Same risks for the baby.
- 2 to 4 times lower maternal death rate.
- More pain and weakness, longer recovery
- Six times lower risk of getting a
chronic and disabling pelvic infection.
- Women feels empowered vs negative
emotional impact of C-section.
C/SEC (Cesarean/Support/Education & Concern)
, 508-877-8266. C/Sec serves
parents and professionals who want
information and support in relation to
Cesarean childbirth, prevention and
vaginal birth after Cesarean.
International Cesarean Awareness Network
at 310-542-6400 fax
Its purpose is to support and inform
women and their doctors, while actively
lobbying for changes in birth