Friday, December 07, 2007

Cesarean Rates Rise Again

Saturday was our screening of BOBB and it went really well! We had about 45 people show up and for our little medical town that is a big deal! We even had an OB that came which made for interesting discussion after the film. Our panel discussion was me, a midwife friend, and a Bradley teacher.

After the film we talked a lot and the OB was upset that the cesarean rates I listed for each hospital in our town included repeat cesareans. As if only primary cesareans should count? I told him that those mothers who were having repeat cesareans counted too because they can and SHOULD be able to have VBACs.

After the discussion we had some refreshments graciously donated by Earth Fare (think Whole Foods) which was great. There was a lot of networking going on and as a result of this screening we raised money for our ICAN chapter and got together a group of us who are putting together a newsletter and directory of birth and breastfeeding resources in our area.

I know that there are some moms now setting up consultations for homebirths as a result of this screening. We will have this awesome new resource in the form of the newsletter. If nothing else, we have heightened the awareness of birthing alternatives in our area (or lack thereof!)

And the best part? The publicity! Check it out! An article here:

We made the evening news here:

And we had several listings in other papers as well.
Then today I spent 30 minutes on the phone with another reporter who is running an entire article about the lack of choices in childbirth here. She was asking about why we no longer have midwives at the major teaching hospital. She asked me about being a doula and about the midwifery model of care. We talked about everything and I am just so excited to see what she writes!

I feel so amazing right now. Finally, all of my hard work has paid off. My time, energy, and money that I have invested into trying to make a difference are finally starting to pay off. The word is out now and ICAN is in the news here. I just am so thrilled!

To bring me back down to Earth I have to talk about the new cesarean rates however. The CDC just released the cesarean rates for 2006 and they have climbed yet again. The nationwide rate is now at 31.1% with Georgia ranking 20th in the nation at 31.3% and South Carolina ranking 13th at 32.9%.

Our local hospitals have cesarean rates ranging from 31% on up to almost 40%. We don't know the rates for the hospital just over the SC border though, because they don't release those figures to the public. Isn't that nice?

It's a scary thing that 1/3 of women are now delivering via cesarean. It hurts me to think about what the future may hold. I feel so strongly that birth affects us and our babies in many ways and it is not just a fleeting moment in time. It is something that we carry with us for life. I truly believe that. And that is why we need to get midwives delivering babies and reserve the OBs for the truly high-risk pregnancies where they are needed.

If you haven't yet, go check out ICAN's website and read the press release about the new cesarean rates.
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