Monday, January 12, 2009

Grassroots Network Additions

From CfM President Susan Hodges via the Grassroots Network, here are some additions to my previous post (1/9/09):

Grassroots Network Message 901001
Research documents risks for elective cesarean prior to 39 weeks

Dear Friends,

The Wall Street Journal reported last week on a new research study just published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found significantly increased risks for babies when elective (no medical reason) cesareans are performed before 39 weeks of gestation, accounting for more than one third of cesarean sections. You can read the WSJ article here.

Many other news reports have picked up on this research report, including the National Partnership news, and I have been told the New York Times, the LA Times and USA Today, as well as many blogs.

Do read the WSJ article, and if this is picked up in your local paper, consider writing a letter to the editor. You could point out that Childbirth Connection’s Listening to Mothers Surveys have found that extremely few mothers ever ask for cesarean sections. Furthermore, no evidence has been presented that women are asking for early cesareans; this is an assumption being made by some OBs who clearly prefer to blame women instead of taking responsibility for the fact that OBs are not practicing according to evidence-based guidelines. Obviously it is to an obstetrician’s advantage to perform the cesarean before labor and eliminate both inconvenient timing and the possibility of a vaginal birth. Finally, why are OBs not accountable for performing cesareans too early and causing harm to babies?

Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"


Grassroots Network Message 901002
"Births: Final Data for 2006" now available from NVS

Dear Friends,

National Vital Statistics at long last has released "Births: Final Data for 2006" which you can read here. The cesarean section rate of 31.1% did not change from the preliminary report issued last year.

The report notes (in the abstract) that "the cesarean delivery rate climbed to 31.1 percent, another all-time high. Preterm and low birthweight rates continued to rise..." and were not explained by births of multiples: "twin birth rate was unchanged for the second consecutive year; the rate of triplet and higher order multiple births declined 5 percent."

If you have not previously read one of these reports, take a look. A variety of interesting statistical information about birth and birth outcomes is included.

Now it is 2009. One wonders when we will get "preliminary data" for 2007?

Susan Hodges, "gatekeeper"

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