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Back to basics for safer childbirth

Posted by Sandra on February 16, 2009

Too many doctors and hospitals are overusing high-tech procedures

http://www.consumerreports.org/health/medical-conditions-treatments/pregnancy-childbirth/maternity-care/overview/maternity-care.htm?loginMethod=auto

The report found that, in the U.S., too many healthy women with low-risk pregnancies are being routinely subjected to high-tech or invasive interventions that should be reserved for higher-risk pregnancies. Such measures include:

  • Inducing labor. The percentage of women whose labor was induced more than doubled between 1990 and 2005
  • Use of epidural painkillers, which might cause adverse effects, including rapid fetal heart rate and poor performance on newborn assessment tests
  • Delivery by Caesarean section, which is estimated to account for one-third of all U.S births in 2008, will far exceed the World Health Organization’s recommended national rate of 5 to 10 percent
  • Electronic fetal monitoring, unnecessarily adding to delivery costs
  • Rupturing membranes (“breaking the waters”), intending to hasten onset of labor
  • Episiotomy, which is often unnecessary

In fact, the current style of maternity care is so procedure-intensive that 6 of the 15 most common hospital procedures used in the entire U.S. are related to childbirth. Although most childbearing women in this country are healthy and at low risk for childbirth complications, national surveys reveal that essentially all women who give birth in U.S. hospitals have high rates of use of complex interventions, with risks of adverse effects.

 

Hat tip to Pushed Birth for finding this article!

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One Response to “Back to basics for safer childbirth”

  1. Amy said

    FANTASTIC information! Thanks for sharing it – I’m going to make sure to pass it on to all of my friends that are interested in natural childbirth and the clear benefits it has. dangia2005@gmail.com

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