The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in their most recent bulletin Read the Article Here reviewed the statistics for primary cesareans over the years, and has concluded that… hold onto your hats folks… that we are doing too many! We need to be taking action to reduce the primary cesarean rate, which will of course reduce the repeat cesarean rate, bringing the numbers down significantly. One main topic in the article is about being patient. In previous years, we’ve “called it a section” after too many hours (often 2) with no progress. The new recommendation is to BE MORE PATIENT and wait before making those decisions. When we do, we see more vaginal deliveries without compromising the health of the baby. Who knew!?

The other BIG NEWS– at the very end of the article, it states:  “Published data indicate that one of the most effective tools to improve labor and delivery outcomes is the continuous presence of support personnel, such as a doula. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 12 trials and more than 15,000 women demonstrated that the presence of continuous one-on-one support during labor and delivery was associated with improved patient satisfaction and a statistically significant reduction in the rate of cesarean delivery (111). Given that there are no associated measurable harms, this resource is probably underutilized.”

Probably underutilized? Probably.

 

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How does a doula really make a difference?
Results from different studies have all suggested that having a doula reduces the overall cesarean rate by 50%, Pitocin use by 40% and requests for epidurals by 60%. The use of a doula also showed a major reduction in the length of labor due to fewer stress hormones being produced in the laboring woman’s body.

The Doula Book © 2002; Klaus, Marshall, Klaus and Kennell.