Monday, September 6, 2010

LTE: Birth Centers' Gentle Options

I was beyond thrilled to read this letter to the editor from Ryan Stanley in the opinion pages of yesterday's Sarasota Herald-Tribune. I learned from Ryan that her original letter had been edited for length; the following is the letter in its entirety. You may read the edited version here.

Citing a newly released study, Denise Grady (“Majority of Cesareans are Done Before Labor”, August 30, 2010) explains that the increased use of labor inducing drugs, the tendency of doctors to give up on labor too soon and the failure to allow vaginal births after C-Sections are all factors contributing to our nation’s alarming 32 percent Caesarean rate. It is especially clear from this study that if you are a new mom giving birth in a hospital you have a 44 percent chance of receiving labor inducing drugs and thereafter a 50 percent chance of having a C-Section before labor even begins.

As a new mom who chose to give birth in a free standing birth center, I am shocked by these new findings. Based on this new research, I fear that had I chosen to give birth in a hospital, I would not have been afforded the gentle, drug and intervention free birth I so desired.

I feel blessed to live in a community with two free standing birth centers and a number of skilled licensed midwives, doulas and independent childbirth educators. I encourage all women, especially those concerned with the rising Caesarean rate, to seek out their services and to demand that their labors be allowed to progress naturally and without unnecessary interventions.

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