Mommy Monday: Curbing c-section rates

One in three women who give birth in the US have a c-section on average.

Certified Nurse Midwife Erin Baird said that's dangerous because of the risks involved in surgery.

“The problem that arises is that c-sections are not a benign surgery,” Baird said. “They come with risks!"

Nationally 25.8% of women will undergo this procedure with their first baby. Of those, Baird said 90% will go on to have repeat sectiosn whther due to choice or the unavailability of vaginal birth after cesarean.

Doctors, nurses and midwives are working to curb that trend. The Healthy People 2020 goal is to reduce the primary rate to 23.9% nationally.

Virginia Baptist Hospital in Lynchburg joined in the national Healthy Birth Initiative at the American College of Nurse-Midwives to give new moms the help and support they need leading up to birth.

Baird said a lot of it just educating moms that spontaneous labor is the best labor... and having stricter guidelines when it comes to induction.

“If you explain to a mom that what's she's doing -- she's taking the prenatal vitamins, she's taken the classes, she's had the prenatal care, she’s exercised and taken care of herself. The last thing is you have to be patient and know that baby will not stay inside of you until it goes to college,” Baird explained. “It will come when it's ready."

At Virginia Baptist they started off below the national trend -- with about 18% of births in the hospital via c-section.

Over the last year they've dropped that rate to just over 14%.

Baird said that is a huge win for the women in our community and well below the rates in the surrounding areas.

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