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Study: Impatience Helps Explain MT's Rising Cesarean Rate

September 20, 2010

HELENA, Mont. - The cesarean birth rate in Montana has risen by 54 percent since 1996, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While fingers have been pointed at older mothers, fear of malpractice and hospital policies, according to a new study from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development one big underlying reason may be impatience - on the part of health professionals and moms-to-be.

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."

Houchins says 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.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a record 32 percent of births nationwide were cesarean in the latest year of data (2007). Nationwide cesarean data is available at www.cdc.gov.

Deb Courson, Public News Service - MT