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Don’t have an unnecessary C-section

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Roughly one in three babies born in the U.S. are delivered by Cesarean section, but medical researchers say about half of those aren’t medically necessary. And that’s happening more often than it used to.

Sometimes doctors or hospitals may rush a C-section simply because they think labor has gone on long enough or because the maternity ward is especially busy. Your biggest risk of having an unnecessary C-section could actually be the hospital where you choose to give birth.

To reduce your risk of an unnecessary C-section, Consumer Reports offers some suggestions:

  • You can Consumer Reports’ free hospital ratings to see the scores for the hospitals in our area. It lets you compare hospitals based on how often they perform C-sections for low-risk cases.
  • If you have a low-to- moderate-risk pregnancy, think about using a midwife. They don’t do surgery and they’ll only transfer you to a doctor if it’s medically necessary.
  • Don’t rush to the hospital. Talk to you doctor or midwife and ask if you can wait until your contractions are three minutes apart, last for one minute and have been like that for one hour. And once you’re at the hospital, don’t rush to induce labor.

On its own there’s not necessarily a problem with a long labor as long as both mom and baby are doing ok.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2017 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org.