5 Tips for avoiding a primary cesarean
5 Tips for Avoiding a Primary Cesarean
The most recent data still shows that one in three women in the United States will undergo a Cesarean delivery but a C-section carries its own risks and possible complications in future pregnancies. However, there are steps you can take to improve your chances of avoiding a surgical delivery. Let’s look at 5 ways you can be proactive in avoiding a Cesarean.
1. CARE PROVIDER
C-Section rates vary widely across the country ranging anywhere from 2% – 70%, even among low-risk women. The World Health Organization (WHO) believes an ideal rate is between 10-15%. When interviewing a care provider, be sure to ask about their personal delivery statistics. If they don’t know or if it’s high, move on. In the same way, be sure to check the statistics for your birthing location. You can have an awesome provider but they may be bound by the practices and protocols of the facility, which will greatly affect your experience.
2. POSITION OF BABY
How the baby is lying in the womb can influence your delivery a great deal. Malpositioned babies (i.e. a posterior or asynclitic) may contribute to long and difficult labors. Also, because of the diminishing expertise and education for breech delivery, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a care provider comfortable with a vaginal breech delivery. It most areas of the country, a breech baby equals an automatic C-section. There are a variety of ways to help baby into an optimal position including regular chiropractic adjustments, Miles Circuit, rebozo work, and Spinning Babies.
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recently advised that more time should be allowed before moving to a Cesarean noting that 6 cm is the start of active labor. They also increased their recommendations for time spent pushing, even suggesting that first-time mothers with an epidural should be given 3+ hours. If you are low risk, staying home as long as possible is a good idea. Going in too early could put you on a path to unnecessary interventions and time restraints.
A 2013 study found that women who exercise 3 days a week lowered their risk of a C-section by almost 35%. All exercise regimens should be approved by your care provider but a mix of cardio, stretching and strength training is ideal. Prenatal yoga can be a great way to get started with an exercise regimen. It equips moms to be with strength, stamina, and flexibility as well as breathing practice and emotional balance.
5. USE A DOULA
No matter where you look, research sings the praises of doulas. Even ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine (SMFM) admits that “this resource is likely underutilized.” Continuous labor support has not only shown to decrease the likelihood of a Cesarean delivery but labor times were shorter and mothers reported being more satisfied with their birth experience.
Sometimes birth is unpredictable and a C-section can be a live-saving procedure for mother and baby. Even if you are preparing for a vaginal delivery, it’s important to be informed about Cesarean birth. I’d love for you to join me on March 12th at the Empower Your Birth Conference. I’ll be sharing 5 Tips for a Faster Cesarean Recovery.