About one-third of all births in the U.S. take place in a hospital operating room — by what’s known as a Cesarean section, or C-section. Recently, health care professionals have begun to work towards reducing that number, since the surgery — like any surgery — carries risks, which are generally thought to be greater than the risks posed by traditional, vaginal birth.
Dr. Aaron Caughey (pronounced “coy”) heads the Obstetrics & Gynecology department at Oregon Health and Science University. He was part of the national panel that issued new medical recommendations for Cesarean births earlier this year. The recommendations encourage allowing labor to progress longer before shifting from a vaginal birth to C-section.
Of course, some women choose to have their babies by C-section, for a variety of reasons, even if it’s not “medically necessary.” That’s something that some hospitals are starting to discourage — some even disallowing the practice.
This month The World is exploring pregnancy and childbirth issues in their series, The Ninth Month. In conjunction with that series, we talked about out-of-hospital births last week. Today we want to know: What were the circumstances surrounding your C-section?