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With c-section rates on the rise, nearly every US woman is at risk of undergoing a surgical birth without medical necessity. That is why every woman who is expecting a baby or hoping to get pregnant should examine the reasons behind the growing c-section rate, if they are hoping to avoid one. A new study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology warns that women whose labors were induced were double as likely to end up with a c-section.

The study confirms what I have always believed to be true labor starts when mom and baby are ready, and messing with the way nature designed birth is a bad idea. Now, I am starting to wonder just how many of the huge number of c-sections (32 percent in the US today) are connected to an induced labor in some way. It is a well-known medical fact that inductions are not always effective, and can lead to fetal distress. Failure to progress, in other words a stalled labor, is more likely to affect women who are being induced, because their bodies were not ready for labor. And failure to progress is a commonly cited reason for a cesarean section. I am not anti-induction, but I do think the seriousness of the procedure is ignored by doctors throughout the United States, and that it needs to be reserved for situations that justify it.

The development of preeclampsia is one such reason. The only one that springs to mind, in fact. When you are seeing an OB, and they are pressuring you into having an induction, it is essential to know that you have the right to informed refusal, just as you have the right to informed consent. That means that you do not have to agree to an induction if you don t want one, especially if there is not a valid medical reason. If your doctor is telling you that you need to be induced, ask him or her to explain the reasons in full. Tell your doctor that you need some time to think about it. If all else fails, you have every right to simply not show up for your scheduled induction. With this post, I would like to encourage every woman who is trying to get pregnant to start informing themselves about birth, and birth choices. C-sections do carry risks, both for mother and baby, despite what the current medical climate seems to suggest. Being informed about all aspects of birth gives you the best chance to have the birth you and your baby both deserve!

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