Image via Birth Boot Camp
Dear my dedicated OB-GYN, Midwife and/or Nurse,
I’m pregnant, I’m healthy, and chances are, I am perfectly capable of having my baby the old-fashioned way. Unfortunately, I live in a country where a third of all women give birth via C-Section (and those numbers are climbing, yikes!) I think we can all agree that we can do better than that.
Let’s get back to basics. *I* want to have a healthy birth, *YOU* want me to have a healthy birth, so we’re on the same page.
YOU, my dear Doctor, Midwife or Nurse, have the opportunity to prevent my first C-Section before it happens.
How do you do that, you ask? Well, your esteemed colleagues at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have released a wonderful, research-based position statement on their recommendations for the Safe Prevention of the Primary C-Section. Here is a summary of their findings:
Give Me Time
- Slow but progressive labor in the first stage of labor should not be an indication for cesarean delivery.
- Cervical dilation of 6 cm should be considered the threshold for the active phase of most women in labor.
Let Me Push
- For at least 3 hours if it is my first baby (and maybe longer if I have an epidural, which statistically, I probably will!)
- For at least 2 hours if it is my second (or more) baby (of course, given my baby and I are tolerating labor well)
Wait For My Labor To Start On Its Own
- Consider induction only after I am 41 weeks or more, or there is some medical indication.
- If you need to induce me, you should use cervical ripening agents if my cervix is unfavorable.
Consider Vaginal Birth If I Am Carrying Twins
- If my both of my babies are head-down, or if my presenting baby (Baby A) is head-down.
Encourage Me To Hire A Doula, Or Be Supportive Of My Decision To Do So
- Having a doula during labor to provide me with continuous labor support reduces my risk of having a C-Section. A doula will also help shorten my labor, reduce my need for anesthesia, and help me bond with my baby. SHORT-HAND? Not only will she help me achieve a healthy birth, but a doula will make your job (and life) easier!
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. Usually it takes published research at least 10 years to make its way into practice, but I know you: you’re ahead of the curve.
Please read the full position statement here.
Sincerely and Gratefully Yours,