Monday

induction and c-section rates

I realized today that whenever I hear of a friend or acquaintance having a baby these days, I generally assume the labor was induced or "augmented," or that she had a c-section. That's because rates of induction and c-section are so high in my neck of the woods.

The last person I know of personally who had a totally natural (meaning no pitocin, no cytotec, no c-section) birth was my sister in law. That was about 7 months ago. Since then, every single person I know of who has had a baby has been induced and/or had a c-section.

Comment below and let me know your experience with this. Of the last 10 people you know or know of who had a baby, how many were induced, augmented or had a c-section?

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

i would say about 8 of the last 10 women i know that have given birth fit your criteria. the interesting part? all of them were with a local nurse midwife practice, most went through natural childbirth classes and did all the reading, prenatal yoga and exercises and many had a doula.

Katie S. said...

In general I have found that my friends who had babies at 30 years or younger had natural births. Once my friends and myself had babies at around 35 yrs old the norm was c-section. I really think there is a correlation between age and birth. In addition, there may be laws and/or hospital policies in the last 5 years that have made in harder for doctors to carry out more natural births.

rich said...

Mason was induced, although there were reasons for that. Erinne's kidneys weren't doing all that great, and her blood pressure kept spiking, so the doctor decided not to risk waiting, particularly since Mason was already well over 7 lbs.

Anonymous said...

At 38 I had a totally natural birth in a dimly lit birthing room of a NYC hospital.

dancediva said...

One of my close friends emailed me today and (in answering my question) told me she was due on Thursday "at 8:00 AM." I wrote her back, surprised, to say "elective c-section?" I don't know how her other child, now 6, was delivered but we're still in our 20s. I see no reason for it. (Can't exactly tell her THAT, not three days out. Plus I'm childless, so what do I know?)

The only friend I've had who delivered via section was very high risk (though only 30) and had to have a hysterectomy less than six months later.

Many of my friends were induced, though. I have no numbers on that.

Cathy said...

I have 5 children. I was induced with the first 2 because I used an OB. Once I switched to a midwife there were no inductions or pitocin to speed things along. Number 4 came so quick I didn't even have an epidural.

My SIL is much younger than me, was induced on the first and ended up with a C, so she just scheduled C's with her other 2 births. Other female friends that have given birth recently are about 75% C's.

Leslie said...

I've had three sections and two augmentations myself. My cousin has had four babies, all induced. Seems like everyone is either induced or under imminent threat of it by the time they go into labor! The thing is, most women that I know IRL don't see anything wrong with this. They are just happy to get the ball rolling. They don't mind that induction leads to harder contractions because they are all planning on epidurals anyway. And if they end up with a section they don't see the connection and don't feel too bad since they assume it must have been necessary and would have happened anyway! Personally, I plan to fudge on my dates next time to buy some time before the induction threats begin.

Anonymous said...

I've 3 kids. They were all born on the day they were 41 weeks (well, the third was 41 weeks and 1 day!) and all had natural births. The first took about 4 1/2 hours, the 2nd 1 hour, the 3rd 3/4 of an hour. I only got an epidural w/ the 1st, but then only about 20 minutes before he was born, I guess it didn't really make any effect, I was able to push and feel pretty well. All biths were in public, middle-of-the-road hospitals in Portugal.
I am a sort of walking wonder among my friends, acquaintances and relatives. My SIL is giving birth in a few weeks and keeps wishing the child was induced at 37 weeks so she wouldn't have to wait til the 40th or 41 st week. Also she plans to go to a private hospital, which in this country means a hotel room and 50's practices towards the newborn: detachment from mother, bottles, pacifier...
It's very hard to go against this trend. i guess it's all over the industrialized countries.
I generally tell people to read, read and read on the subject.
But somehow I guess they end up reading the wrong information...

Marta from Lisbon

katie allison granju said...

Let me say (as I often do when I discuss this subject) that I realize that sometimes, c-sections and inductions are necessary and lifesaving.

However, with a c-section rate nearing 40%, and with most women I know having their labors induced, I know there's a lot of unnecessary intervention happening...

It just seems like nowadays, everyone is either induced or sliced open.

Anonymous said...

2 Knoxville women I know you had babies last year:
1 induced, age 38
1 C-section, age 34

Clisby said...

I don't know if age makes a difference - I was 42 when my first was born and 48 when the 2nd was born. By your definition, they were both natural births, although I had IV pain meds with both.

By *my* definition, a natural birth also would mean no epidural and no IV pain meds. My impression is that that's pretty uncommon nowadays.

Of the last 10 women I've known who gave birth:

- Probably half had c-section and/or induction.
- 3 had homebirths
- 1 had totally natural birth (by my definition) in a hospital
- 1 unknown

Clisby
Clisby

Anonymous said...

My first baby was induced with an epidural too (OB and I was scared). The next two were natural, no induction, no medication at all. I'm due in July and am hoping to get to the hospital just in time (no sooner!). I would birth at home but the insurance won't allow it. Not sure of the numbers, but I know a lot of women who "needed" c-sections. I think a lot of women have a vague idea that c-sections are considered bad, but think nothing of inductions at all. One woman raved about c-sections, swearing that she lost the weight quicker with a c-section. (I had always heard the reverse, that the cutting of stomache muscles makes it harder to lose weight?)

Ma Turner said...

At age 34, I had an emergency C-section to birth my baby boy who was in a persistent transverse breech position (Not just side to side, but facing posterior and with both feet up by his ears! He must have felt sooooo smooshed in my womb!). After long-term attempts at pelvic tilts, hip elevation, lights, music and talking failed to convince my babe to turn, my OB recommended I try acupuncture. And I would have, but I went into labor 3 weeks early and by the time we got to the hospital, the babe was in distress. So a C it was, and I was delighted to have him out and healthy. I was really pleased at the alternatives my OB presented to prevent a C-section. She was really proactive and I'll return to her for the next babe!

mamalife said...

It does sadly seem to be the trend where I live also. VBAC's are not allowed here either.

Ilaria said...

Let's see...
Last - c-section
second to last - induced, vaginal
third to last - natural
fourth to last - induced, vaginal

That's all I can rembeber

Sarada said...

The last four women I know who had babies all had homebirths. That's the only way to end up not being induced or with a c-section. We all live near a hospital and there is a CNM who does homebirth in this area (rare) so those who wouldn't normally have considered homebirth did anyway.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of anyone I know that had a baby in a hospital w/o induction or c-section. My SIL went to the OB and cried to get induced, for no reason at all (other than she was uncomfortable)

Anonymous said...

I was induced after 41 weeks at the insistence of my doctor. I avoided a C-section, thankfully. I think doctors can be a big source of pressure, especially for first-time moms, who don't know that it really is perfectly OK to be a few days late. In Arizona, they tend to scare anyone by saying, "the baby looks to be REALLY big, so we better get him/her out" and the baby is always within normal range (none of my friends had a baby over 8 1/2 pounds). Next time, I'll know better.

emily smith said...

My first baby was born via vaginal delivery three weeks ago, at 40 weeks 1 day. I was planning a natural birth, but my water broke the night before at around 11 pm. I had contractions 9 minutes apart for the next 10 hours and remained only 2 cm dilated. (My OB thinks my cervix was having trouble dilating because of cryosurgery nearly 6 years ago.) So they started me on pitocin the next morning because the membranes had ruptured so many hours before. To the hospital staff's credit, they seemed to think pitocin would be necessary soon after I was admitted, but I asked them to give the contractions time to work. They waited as long as they thought they could -- about 8 more hours -- before augmenting labor. Even then, it wasn't till evening that I was ready to start pushing. Talk about a long day.

Of the last several women I know who have had babies, 3 have had C-sections and 3 (including me) have had vaginal births.

emily smith said...

By the way, why do you put quotation marks around "augmented"? Is it to suggest that there is no distinction between induction and augmentation?

katie allison granju said...

Emily - Congrats on the baby!!! It's baby Henry, right? Awesome name :-)

I don't know why I put quotes around "augmented," actually. I have no idea!

Laura said...

of the last ten that i know of?
they were all mothers of patients of mine.
2 were born at home (one planned home birth the other the mother didn't know she was pg so she says) then had to be rushed code blue via ambulance to the hospital to our nicu,
6 were not augmented but rather medicated to try to stop labor because they were all premature and definitely not ready for prime time. 3 of them were by c-section after the babies heart rates dropped dangerously low. 5 of the 6 remain extremely critical at this time,
1 was admitted for preterm labor 6 weeks early and because she complained to her ob that she was "tired" of being pg was allowed to progress. she delivered vaginally and her baby had a broken clavicle which surprised us all because she was only just under 4 lbs. that baby also seems to have some other issues which suggest she will be in the nicu longer than mom is happy about. wonder what woul have happened if she wasn't so "tired" to begin with.
1 was delivered by emergency c-section when the mother's pre-eclamsia progressed quickly and she began seizing, showing signs of liver failure and DIC (blood failing to clot and patient bleeding out). baby need to grow a bit but otherwise is just fine and will be out of our nicu in a week or so.
that gives yopu 4 sections out of 10 and only one augmentation_ the "tired" mother.

Kellygirl said...

I wonder if the term induced covers a wide range of options. At age 41, with my fourth child, I was 4 cm. at 39 weeks, and the baby was already 10 pounds. And I had a lot of false labor. So I was given a IV bag of pitocin. After four hours, the labor shot out like a cannon -- I went from 5 cm. to 10 in 15 minutes. I would not consider that experience an induction like a scheduled one, right? Among my friends with new babies, all of whom are 1-2 decades younger than I, most are regular childbirth. Only one C-section.

Anonymous said...

That's considered labor augmentation.

Elizabeth said...

Last birth I heard of IRL was on Saturday, and she was induced because she'd "had enough." She just thought she was getting too big! She's a very petite person. I have no idea when she was due. I just sure wouldn't do induction just because someone thought she was too big. The last person I can remember before that went in for scheduled induction and came out after a C-section. I just don't get why these ladies are choosing this!

Les Jones said...

Melissa had a VBAC with our second daughter. She had an epi, but we avoided a c-section by using the vacuum suction cup to help the baby's head out.

She was induced the first time because of pregnancy-related blood pressure. It does seem that inductions and c-sections tend to go hand in hand, though I wish our doctor had recommended the suction cup the first time. The baby was just right there.