Mommy Monday: New Guidelines to Cut Down on C-Sections

Lynchburg, VA - There is a lot of reaction Monday to new guidelines that recommend women labor longer to avoid having a c-section.

Doctors say for women who are otherwise healthy, they should be given more time to deliver their babies naturally before resorting to surgery.

Two groups of pregnancy specialists: ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, put out the new guidelines after growing concerns that c-sections are being overused.

Nearly 1 in 3 women give birth by cesarean.

Of course, they can be life-saving. But the groups say it can also be done for convenience or fear of lawsuits.

ACOG's analysis found that what doctors are taught in medical school about the different stages of labor may not be the most up to date.

A study just done in 2012 found that one stage takes up to two and a half hours longer now than it did in the 60s.

The new guidelines are:

Don't order a c-section just because the first and longest phase of labor is prolonged.

Active labor begins later than once thought, at six centimeters versus four.

And if women are not too tired, let them push for at least two hours if they have delivered before, and three hours if it's their first baby.

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