Friday, March 20, 2009

Grassroots Network: Useful press releases about new CDC stats

Dear Friends,

Several organizations have posted informative press releases with different points regarding the new CDC birth statistics, especially the issue of increasing cesarean rates:

From CIMS: “Need for Transparency Increases as Cesarean Section Rates Rise” (scroll down to see this press release listed near the bottom of the page). Points out the variations among hospitals and providers, and the need for information and transparency to enable pregnant women to make informed decisions about their care, and highlights the work of The Birth Survey projects.

From ICAN: “Cesarean Rate Jumps to Record High; 1 in 3 Pregnant Women Face Surgical Delivery More Women Forced into Surgery; Few Mothers Recognize They Can Reduce Their Risk of Surgery” Notes that a big contribution to the rise in the cesarean rate is the underuse of VBACs, including the facts that VBACs have been banned at more than 800 hospitals, and are not available at another 600 plus hospitals.

From Lamaze: “Evidence Increases for Risks in Cesarean Surgery as National Rate Continues to Rise” Emphasizes the accumulated evidence of risks associated with cesarean sections, for both mother and baby.

As Lamaze concludes (and Citizens for Midwifery agrees): “Two of the most important decisions a woman can make are where she gives birth and who she chooses as her care provider.” Regarding cesarean sections, a healthy pregnant woman can significantly decrease the chance that she will “end up” with a cesarean section by choosing midwifery care, especially in an out-of-hospital setting. (See “Out-of-Hospital Midwifery Care: Much Lower Rates of Cesarean Sections for Low-Risk Women”). In the face of these facts, it is incomprehensible and unreasonable that the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists continue to make policy statements in opposition to midwife-attended home birth, particularly when they have no evidence to back up their positions. (For more information about ACOG’s anti-home birth stance, see: “ACOG 2008 Press Release on Home Birth- CfM Rebuttal and Talking Points” and for more about AMA and ACOG organizations see “BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT THE AMA AND ACOG”)

Do take a look at these press releases! It is likely that news media of various kinds will publish articles about the latest national statistics. We can all write letters to the editor and respond on blogs, making use of the information in these press releases and additional information in this message, and emphasizing the need for midwives, in and out of the hospital, to improve maternity care and birth outcomes in the US.

Susan Hodges “gatekeeper”

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