The anesthesiologist checks mother as the final preparations are made for her operation. And obstetrician, Dr Lauren Streicher explains the rising C-Section rate in the USA.
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Dr. Lauren Streicher: In the United States currently the rate of Cesarean section is approximately 17% and of course this varies widely, depending on different practices, different high risk populations, different hospitals. What we are finding is that some of the babies which we would like to deliver vaginally and which we have delivered vaginally in the past, the recommendations are changing, and the reason that it's changing is because Cesarean section has become so safe over time that in many cases the statistics show that it is safer to have a that's breached by Cesarean section, rather than vaginally. So the Cesarean section numbers probably will go up. We are hoping that it's not going to get any higher than 18 to 20%, but that's about where they are right on. The majority of Cesarean sections are done because the baby does not come down through the birth canal. It's not just the size issue. Very often we have a mother who is unable to deliver a 7 pound baby. It seems like it's not going to fit and then in the next pregnancy she may deliver 8 pound baby quite easily. So we know it's not just a size of the baby or just the shape of the mother's pelvis, although those are huge factors. It could also be the position at the baby is coming down. Sometimes the baby's head is caught, sometimes for whatever reason a good labor pattern isn't established so that dilatation doesn't progress, the baby's head doesn't descend and the baby just doesn't come out and that's why the majority of Cesarean sections are done. Certainly a number of Cesarean sections are done because they baby doesn't tolerate labor. If you have a baby that for a variety of reasons is not going to do well, if labor progresses and the vaginal delivery occurs than a Cesarean section is going to occur in that case.
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