Cesareans can save lives & I'm glad they are available. But they can also cost lives; a cesarean is major abdominal surgery and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. According to Childbirth Connection.org,
Recent studies reaffirm earlier World Health Organization recommendations about optimal cesarean section rates. The best outcomes for mothers and babies appear to occur with cesarean section rates of 5% to 10%. Rates above 15% seem to do more harm than good (Althabe and Belizan 2006).2007 data shows that it is nationally 31.8%. My state, NJ is the highest in the nation at nearly 40%! Women who have this surgery are four times more likely to die than women who give birth vaginally.
There is much that can be done to lessen chances of giving birth by cesarean unnecessarily. Educate yourself. Do all that you can to prevent primary cesareans and support VBAC in your community. Check out ICAN for information.