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Study: Impatience Helps Explain WYO's Rising Cesarean Rate

September 20, 2010

CHEYENNE, Wyo. - The cesarean birth rate in Wyoming has risen by 47 percent since 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While fingers have been pointed at older mothers, fear of malpractice lawsuits and hospital policies, one big underlying reason may be impatience - on the part of health professionals and moms-to-be. That's according to a new study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Lisa Houchins with the International Cesarean Awareness Network agrees that a little more patience is needed for healthy mothers and babies.

"We suggest not inducing, unless there is a true medical reason, and also being patient during labor, even if it takes a little bit longer."

According to the CDC, a record 32 percent of births nationwide were cesarean in the latest year of data (2007).

Houchins adds that women also need to know that when induction or a non-emergency cesarean is suggested, they have a right to ask questions before agreeing.

"I think some women don't realize that they have the option to get a second opinion or get more information before they make an educated decision."

The study, funded by the National Institutes of Health, will be published in an upcoming issue of the "American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology." Wyoming cesarean rate information is available at www.cdc.gov.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - WY