Since cesarean rates hit an all time high in 2009 (34 percent of all live births), a slew of articles in national publications cite statistics that directly correlate excessive unnecessary c-sections to increased infant mortality rates, premature births, and serious maternal complications (infection, hemorrhaging, etc). In response to these distressing outcomes, hospitals across the country are finally issuing “hard stops” on all elective c-sections and inductions before 39 weeks. (While anywhere between 37 to 40 weeks is considered full term, research has suggested that 40 weeks is optimal.) According to this MSNBC article, Oregon is the latest state to jump on the bandwagon, along with Texas, Illinois, California, and joy of joys, New York! (New York has had the highest rate of unnecessary cesareans in the country.)
While c-sections are undoubtedly a marvel of modern medicine, their use for convenience’s sake is rather appalling, at least from where I’m sitting. It’s wonderful news that there’s a statewide effort to relegate them back to use in emergencies, so that more babies have the opportunity to be born healthy. And for more reasons why vaginal birth is the (preferable) way to go if you can, check out Parenting Squad’s Top 5 Reasons Not to Have a C-Section.
What do you think? Weigh in your thoughts below.
Green Living Tip of the Week:
As both federal and state governments look to cut spending wherever they can, one thing that’ll likely disappear is tax credits for home improvement projects that improve energy efficiency. While these credits were at one point quite large, now they’re just a few hundred dollars, and unless Congress votes to re-enact these programs they’ll all expire December 31, 2011. So make hay while the sun shines and make your home more energy efficient while you can recoup at least some of the expense. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Savers Web site for a list of projects, their credit value, and how to apply.