Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Grassroots Network: Cesareans related to increase in preterm births

Dear Friends,

A study about to be published has found that that singleton preterm births have increased, and that 92% of them were delivered surgically (i.e. by cesarean section). Read about this in the March of Dimes press release.

C- Sections a Critical Factor in Preterm Birth Increase

Some C-Sections May Not Be Medically Necessary, March of Dimes Says

WHITE PLAINS, NY, MAY 28, 2008, Cesarean sections account for nearly all of the increase in U.S. singleton preterm births, according to an analysis of nine years of national birth data.

Between 1996 and 2004 there was an increase of nearly 60,000 singleton preterm births and 92 percent of those infants were delivered by a cesarean section, (c-section), according to research by investigators from the March of Dimes and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that will be published in the June issue of Clinics in Perinatology. While singleton preterm births increased by about 10 percent during this time, the c-section rate for this group increased by 36 percent.
While the press release does not address the issue of the increasing rates of induction, many of which result in cesarean delivery, the March of Dimes does suggest that many cesareans are medically unnecessary: “The March of Dimes is concerned that some early deliveries may occur without good medical justification and may be done at the request of the mother or based on an inappropriate recommendation from the doctor.”

In discussing this issue, it is good to remember that the only study of any kind that has actually asked mothers if they wanted a cesarean is the Listening to Mothers II study by Childbirth Connection
which found that extremely few mothers who had cesarean sections actually asked for them, and that most felt pressured to have the surgery.

Susan Hodges “gatekeeper”

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