Raising Women’s Voices

The Rise of the C-Section

Posted in Maternity Care, Reproductive Health Care by raisingwomensvoices on April 23, 2009

From Our Bodies Our Blog:

A statistical brief from The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project entitled Hospitalizations Related to Childbirth, 2006 finds that there has been a 40% increase in repeat cesarean sections, up from 64.7% in 1997 to 90.3% in 2006.

Other findings conclude that uninsured women have the lowest c-section rates, that delivery via c-section rose from 21% in 1997 to 31.6% in 2006, and that c-sections were “overall, the most commonly performed operating room procedures in U.S. hospitals” in 2006.

c-sectionC-sections tend to be costlier than vaginal deliveries. Without complications, C-sections run on average $4,500 to vaginal delivery’s $2,600. With complications, those numbers increase to $6,100 and $3,500 respectively.

Another question to ask  is how much insurance covers each type of delivery.

In light of the shocking increases in both c-section deliveries as well as repeat cesareans, Obstetrician/gynecologist Lauren Plante has written an article in the International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. She argues that c-sections present women with a pain-free, risk-free method of childbirth that takes away their autonomy and removes them from what their bodies are capable of doing. And that the ‘autonomy’ women have in childbirth options is really only supported when it gives more power to the doctor (such as choosing c-section over home-birth).

For the Our Bodies Our Blog synopsis, click here.

For the full article click here.

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