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A pilot program helps to reduce the rates of elective C-sections

The number of babies being delivered via cesarean section (C-section) during the past few years has increased incrementally both in Arizona and across the United States. While this major surgery has been performed on many mothers for other valid reasons, many have happened for purely elective reasons. This has left medical organizations such as the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists (ACOG) concerned.

An initiative launched by the ACOG in recent years has centered around reducing the incidence rate C-section by low-risk mothers to 23.9 percent. As of 2016, at least 25.7 of these women delivered their babies via this invasive surgical procedure.

One of the reasons why the ACOG is motivated to reduce C-section rates is because these births come with more risks than vaginal ones do. C-sections put Tucson moms at increased risk for blood clots or loss, longer healing times, bladder or bowel injuries and infection.

After an investigation into two C-section deaths in 2013 at a hospital in Massachusetts revealed that they hadn't received substandard care, doctors created the "Team Birth Project" to ensure that the same thing didn't happen again.

Since the implementation of this program, doctors have sought to reduce the number of unnecessary C-sections in order to reduce infant and maternal death rates. They have found that improved cross-communication between the patient and all members of the childbirth team results in better outcomes for both mom and baby.

Under the program, moms are only admitted to the hospital once in active labor. Upon their arrival in their room, their "birthing plan" is placed on an erasable white board to guide their medical team. Whenever necessary, they may modify it in response to the mom's or baby's needs or changes in the progression of labor

The program is currently being utilized at three other hospitals in the country. So far, the C-section rates at the Massachusetts hospital have dropped from 31 to 27 percent since the program was instituted there.

Moms tend to think of doctors and hospitals as well-oiled machines since they deliver hundreds if not thousands of babies each year. It doesn't take long combing through horror stories online to realize that childbirth and delivery rarely proceed as planned. More mothers experience complications than they should. A birth injury lawyer can help you decide whether to hold your medical team accountable for their negligence.

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