Guidelines for fewer surgical births
The March issue of the journal Obstetrics and Gynecology has a feature article entitled “Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery” in which the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) issued a consensus statement listing ways to lower the increasing incidence of cesarean delivery. While surgical births can often be lifesaving for the baby and mother, the fact that 1 in 3 women now give birth in the United States by surgical delivery has caused increasing concern. These two leading obstetrical organizations are now coming together with science-based and safe guidelines with the hope of lowering the necessity for surgical deliveries. This is the first such joint effort in many years and has the birth community buzzing.
New recommended guidelines:
- Birth attendants will not pay such close attention to the time clock for labor. As long as labor is progressing, then there will be less rush toward surgical delivery even though some mothers may have a longer-than-usual labor.
- Since cesareans are done because of worrisome tracings on electronic fetal monitoring, there has been redefinition of which tracings are concerning and which are not. Some tracings that were previously thought to indicate fetal distress have been shown to be a normal variant and unrelated to fetal heart rate problems.
- Also in the recommended guidelines is the reassessment of whether or not surgical delivery is always necessary if mother goes beyond 41 weeks.
- The obstetrical organizations underscore that continuous labor support, preferably by a professional labor support person, is one of the most effective ways to decrease the need for cesarean birth. They encourage all mothers to utilize this valuable resource.
- Finally, the guidelines recommend less of a need for surgical delivery of twins.
In our new book, The Healthy Pregnancy Book (the only pregnancy book that is co-authored by an obstetrician, midwife, pediatrician, and mother-child childbirth educator), there is a large chapter on science-based and time-tested ways to increase the chances of having a vaginal birth.
Here is the link to the full article: http://www.scienceandsensibility.org/?p=7958
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.