March 20, 2006
Susan Hodges, President,
Athens, GA – Citizens for Midwifery joins with the American College of Nurse-Midwives and other
national childbirth organizations in calling for full disclosure regarding
complications and harm resulting from cesarean section surgery for childbirth.
section is major abdominal surgery associated with a long and well-documented
list of risks for both mothers and babies, including life-threatening and
long-term problems. While such surgery can be life-saving and may be worth the
risks when specific medical complications exist, in the absence of such
complications cesarean sections cause harm rather than promoting healthy
mothers and babies. When cesarean
section is recommended or offered, it is imperative that women be given
complete, unbiased and evidence-based information about all the risks and
benefits before making a decision.
As of 2004
nearly 30% of babies were delivered by cesarean, while in 2000 19% of healthy
low risk women in hospital-based care were subject to cesarean surgery. These rates far exceed all reasonable
guidelines for appropriate cesarean section rates.
attending low risk women in-out-of-hospital settings help these women to safely
give birth to healthy babies with only about 4% delivered by cesarean section,
in contrast to 19% of low risk women cared for by obstetricians in hospitals.
for Midwifery supports the rights of women to autonomy and bodily integrity
regarding maternity care and birthing choices.
Such choices should be made in the context of full disclosure and
honest, unbiased and complete informed consent processes. Cesarean sections for no medical indication,
by “maternal request” or not, entail serious risks, unnecessarily use scarce
healthcare resources, and entail extra costs born by the public. Citizens for Midwifery supports maternity
care that nurtures and enables normal birth with minimal interventions.
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for Midwifery is a national, consumer-based non-profit organization that promotes the Midwives Model of Care,
provides information about midwifery and childbirth issues, and speaks up for
consumer interests regarding midwifery and maternity care. The Midwives Model of Care is based on the
fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes. The application of
this woman-centered model of care has been proven to reduce the incidence of birth
injury, trauma and cesarean section.
Find more information about Citizens for Midwifery at www.cfmidwifery.org.