For a long time, the thought amongst OBs has been if a woman is stalled in labor long enough then better get her in for a cesarean. Doctors were using C-sections as a way to help protect themselves against lawsuits and out of convenience. But now the pendulum is swinging back the other way. This week the ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists) in conjunction with the Society for Maternal and Fetal Medicine released an obstetric care consensus that could greatly limit the climbing rates of cesareans in the US.
For the full report see:
This is a diagram taken from the ACOG’s recent report on cesareans. It shows the reason for the most cesareans in the US is a pause in labor. Now the ACOG is recommending doctors allow women to wait longer to let labor progress, not rushing them, and letting mother nature do her work. Due to the work of Michel Odent, a French OB, we know that women tend to progress more quickly when in an intimate environment—dark, quiet, alone or with close support partners, and tapping into their own intuition (basically everything the hospital is not). Now mommas might have a bit more time to get into this space of intimacy and to let their bodies progress on their own. This might halt the alarming cesarean rate in the US, of roughly a third of all women. It might also mean good news for women attempting vaginal births after previous cesareans.
And guess what the best part of the whole study was:
“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.”
They have a call for all doulas! They have acknowledged what we all knew: continuous labor support can significantly improve patient outcomes. So there you have it folks, even the ACOG is calling for doulas. Yes, giving birth is hard. But it is just like the butterfly. We can all find our strength in struggle, and really come face to face with who we are as powerful, individual, strong women!
If you are interested in finding out more about the new protocols please read:
This is a brief and detailed explanation of the new policy: