The cesarean rate in the US continues to rise and in 2006, 31% of all mothers had cesareans. The World Health Organization suggests a 10-15% cesarean rate is the upper limit to “necessary” cesareans and most experts agree that the US cesarean rate has gotten out of hand. Considering that a pregnant woman has a 1 in 3 chance of having major surgery just upon walking in the door of a hospital, it is important to become educated about cesareans and cesarean prevention.
In September, Mothering magazine published an excellent article called Cesarean Birth in a Culture of Fear. In addition to being a thought provoking analysis of technological birth in the US and the ever-rising cesarean rate, it was also extremely well illustrated (including a remarkable computer created image of a woman in a “traditional US hospital setting” that gives me chills–she has 16 different “attachments” hooked up to her as she tries to focus and give birth to her baby). There is also a series of illustrations that very clearly demonstrate the step-by-step process of a cesarean in a way that we rarely see. Now, this useful article has been turned into a booklet and made available as a handout on the Childbirth Connection site!