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Tag: labor

Can we Reduce the Rate of Cesarean Section Births?

 

Whether common knowledge or not, the Cesarean Section birth rate in the U.S. hovers around 31%. meaning that 1 of 3 babies in our country are born by Cesarean Section.  In the last 2 decades, the rate of Cesarean Section births has continued to rise, even for first-time mothers.  According to our national organization, ACOG, the most common reason for Cesarean Section birth among first-time mothers is abnormal progess in labor.  The rate of Cesarean Section birth among first-time mothers varies throughout the country, raising their concern for the re-evaluation and standardization of the definitions of 'normal labor progress' among practicing Obstetricians in our country.

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Common Reasons why a Cesarean Section may be recommended in Labor

Cesarean Section Delivery isn’t Failure…It’s ‘Plan B’

 

If I had a nickel for the many times I’ve heard a laboring patient say, “I really don’t want a Cesarean Section!”  In addressing their labor concerns, often times I try re-clarifying with them what they really mean in saying “I don’t want a Cesarean Section”.  I believe what most of our patients really mean is:

“I’m really ‘hoping’ for a vaginal birth”…

“If I had a preference for delivery, it would be vaginally, rather than by Cesarean Section”…

However…

“If circumstances arise for which a Cesarean Section would be better for the health and safety of my baby, I’d definitely agree to Cesarean Section delivery”…

 


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Monitoring your Baby in Labor: What is Electronic Fetal Monitoring?

 

In the process of labor your baby’s normal fetal heart rate patterns assure us of the well-being of the baby, and it’s tolerance of the process of labor.  During labor, the baby’s heart rate is monitored most commonly by a device called the Electronic Fetal Monitor.  Many of you may be familiar with the device with the 2 Velcro straps wrapped across your belly.  One of the circular sensors of the monitor laid across your abdomen picks up the fetal heart rate, while the other sensor measures the frequency of your contractions.

 

While we don’t intend for labor to be a ‘stressful’ condition for you or your baby, the reality is that the arduous process of labor can be a stress to both of you.  While in labor, we monitor our Moms with vital signs, oxygen status, often IV hydration, and pain management when requested. Monitoring of the baby’s status during labor happens by our interpretation of the baby’s fetal heart rate patterns, using the Electronic Fetal Monitor.  The monitor uses Doppler ultrasound wave forms (no radiation exposure) to record the fetal heart rate pattern, and is considered completely safe, posing no risk to your baby.

 

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