There’s widespread agreement within the public health community that the percentage of women who deliver by Cesarean Section these days is too high. In fact, 1/3 of women in the US have cesarean deliveries these days (up from 9.5% in 1990 and 23% in 2008).
Last week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine collaborated to produce an Obstetric Care Consensus document entitled Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery, which provides new research analyses and interpretation to help “…health care providers to understand the short-term and long-term tradeoffs between cesarean and vaginal delivery, as well as the safe and appropriate opportunities to prevent overuse of cesarean delivery, particularly primary cesarean delivery.” The consensus seems to be that it’s safe to let someone labor longer than had been previously recommended.
When we amended our regulations that govern the practice of licensed professional midwives in AZ, we allowed for the new guidelines that we hoped were coming out. This long awaited document will provide clinicians and our licensed midwives with evidence-based information they can use to help more of their patients have a successful vaginal delivery.