Do hospital C-section rates matter?

Have you considered looking into the C-section rate at your delivery facility?

C-section rates are high in the U.S., and where you deliver your baby can make a difference on whether or not you have a C-section. Some hospitals and birth centers have higher C-section rates than others. It’s important to familiarize yourself with each delivery facility’s (hospital or birth center) practices to understand which is best suited for you and your family’s needs.

Just like no two babies are alike, no two facilities are alike. It’s not just about whether or not the facility provides amenities like a birthing tub. Different facilities also have different ways to make important decisions like the best method of delivering a baby. C-section rates among different facilities can differ widely, even among hospitals in the same city or in the same neighborhood.

The way a facility is managed in terms of staffing, bed number and managing emergencies varies across the country. When nurses, certified nurse-midwives and doctors make care decisions about women in labor, this can influence influence whether or not a C-section is performed.

The official recommendation of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is to avoid a C-section unless there’s a medical reason to operate. This is why it’s important to choose a birth facility that gives you the best chance of avoiding a medically unnecessary C-section.

If you haven’t already done so, try speaking to your provider or a staff member at your birth facility about their C-section rates to make sure your preferences and birth plan are taken into consideration during your delivery process.

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