Are there too many c-sections nowadays?

In countries like the USA, the cesarean rate has been 30% for a decade now. In the 1980, the cesarean rate was in the low 10%.

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Most cesareans are done to “protect the baby” but overall studies after studies show that the mortality rate among babies has not changed since the cesarean rate tripled.

How can we explain this? In the 1980s, fetal heart monitoring during labor started with all kinds of criterias to determine if the baby was at risk. Most doctors would rather perform a cesarean and lift the possibility of a later lawsuit for “sitting on the line while the baby’s heart showed abnormal patterns.

The problem is that most of these non-reassuring fetal heart patterns are not a sign of fetal distress.

The other problem is that the US is the kingdom of lawsuits, medical lawsuits being one of the top causes of litigation.

Unfortunately, we are seeing more and more complications of repeated cesareans such as placenta Previa (placenta too low which can cause an hemorrhage and placenta accreta (placenta stuck in the uterus muscle which can cause…hemorrhage again. There is also a higher risk of infection for the mother.

Overall the World health organization states that an acceptable cesarean rate would be between 10 and 15% but with the litigation rate being so high this will not happen anytime soon in the USA.

Nathalie Fiset M.D., C.H.

Nathalie Fiset, creator of the Hypno-Baby program

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