Thursday, May 29, 2014

Cesarean Birth Anyone?

So this just showed up in my newsfeed this morning from It's a list of where each state rates in cesarean births performed.

What in the world is going on in Puerto Rico? Or Louisianna? Or New Jersey?

South Dakota has one of the mid-lower rates on the scale, and when you look at the "by hospital" rate here, you can see that several of our rural hospitals don't perform any cesarean births...I would assume because they don't offer them, but I don't know that for sure. So you combine those 0.0% with Brookings Hospital, which has only 11.2% and Spearfish at the next-lowest with 18.7% cesarean rates, they certainly bring the state average down.

So, what are South Dakota's individual hospital rates? It is important to know, after want to make sure that you know where the hospital you are delivering at stands in this rating.

Well, here they are, according to (keep in mind these rates are from 2011 - things may have changed since then):

So....holy moly....I would be pretty hesitant to deliver at Madison or Vermillion. Those are some crazy high numbers.

Granted, they aren't as high as some hospitals I've seen in other states with rates up into the 70s and 80s. But high nonetheless.

We are the only ones that can reduce these numbers. Even though South Dakota is pretty "in the middle of the road" as far as c-section rates go, it's no doubt that the rate in every single state in the union is much MUCH too high. The World Health Organization recommends the cesarean section rate be no higher than 10-15%.

If cesarean birth is recommended to you, make sure you know why! Make sure you agree that it is a medical necessity! If you don't feel it's right and your provider is insistent, find a new provider! It's literally never too late to get a provider that will listen to you and trust your judgement. You know your baby and your body better than any provider (or anyone else for that matter) ever could.

Trust your instinct.

If you have considered all risks and feel cesarean birth is truly what's best for you and your baby, then go with it! If not, then don't! YOU are in control of your birth and your body. Nobody else. Get some great support to add to your birth team (people who you know will back you up and give you real support) and know your options.

You can do this mama, and together we can get these rates down!


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