This week, I was reading the new Consumer Reports on c-section rates. To put the jumble of numbers in perspective, the World Health Organization recommends that the c-section rate should be no higher than 15%. Our current national average is 33%.
According to Consumer Reports, as of March 2017, these are the cesarean rates in our area:
Memorial Hospital- "17% of first-time mothers with low-risk deliveries had a C-section"
St. Joseph's Candler - "40% of first-time mothers with low-risk deliveries had a C-section."
Also, from The LeapFrog Group, I was able to find out the episiotomy rates.
Memorial Hospital- 2.6%
St. Joseph's Candler- 15.3%.
But these two places are not the only choice for birth in Savannah!
The Midwife Group & Birth Center reports a hospital transfer rate of 9.59% with a 4% c-section rate for 2016.
Savannah Midwifery - "GeorgAnna's transport rate (of women in labor from home to the hospital) is 5.26%, or 5 clients in 6 years. Newborn transport rate is 3.94%, or 3 in 5 years (two to the hospital, one to their Pediatrician). One Savannah Midwifery client who transported from home to hospital had a non-emergent cesarean."
Don't get me wrong, I am glad we have c-sections. They are truly life-saving when needed. The problem is that providers are becoming more likely to recommend this procedure- a major abdominal surgery- for reasons that are not evidence based. No surgery is without risks, so the decision for a cesarean birth should always come after a risk-benefit analysis and with the family's informed consent.
C-sections are birth, and birth is beautiful.