How Likely Is Your Obstetrical Care Provider to Perform a Cesarean Section?
Knowing your care provider's primary cesarean section rate allows you to see how likely they are to suggest birthing methods that deviate from your intended plan. The appropriate rate of primary C/S should be between 10-15% for an averaged risk population. If the care provider's rate is much higher than that, it is a red flag that you may receive non-indicated medical interventions or an unnecessary C/S, or that the provider is unfamiliar with how to restore a labor deviating from normal due to fetal malposition back to a normal birth by helping the baby to rotate and fit through your pelvis.
What is your primary cesarean section (C/S) rate?
For first time moms, The World Health Organization states that for the average risk population, the primary Cesarean birth rate should be no higher than 10-15%. Currently in the United States, the average C/S rate (primary plus repeat C/S) is approximately 30%. In New Jersey, it ranges from 30-40%. If the care provider’s primary rate is near 15%, but the total C/S rate still approaches 30%, this means that he/she has a practically 0% VBAC rate (the successful VBAC rate should be between 60-80%). The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM) 2013 average C/S rate was 13%. Midwives deliver approximately 8% of the babies born in the USA.
- WHO statement on caesarean section rates, Executive summary; April 2015; WHO reference number: WHO/RHR/15.02