Utah Cesarean Rates

I hosted the Utah Count chapter of ICAN last night at my home. Today I have been thinking about the wonderful women I know who have had c-sections. I’ve been thinking about their stories, both positive and negative. Thinking about their experiences made me wonder about the cesarean rates at the hospitals where most of my moms give birth. It got me wondering what the latest cesarean statistics are for Utah. This information can be found by clicking HERE. Utah’s cesarean rate (23.2%) is lower than the national average (32.8%), which is good. The rates, however, are still higher than the World Health Organization (WHO) recommendation of between 5% and 10%. Their recommendation is supported by the most recent studies. The studies show that c-section rates above 15% do more harm to moms and babies than good. 

Cesarean births are sometimes necessary and are a useful tool for birth. They are being overused. This creates unnecessary risks to moms and babies. Although, I believe it is important for the medical community to make an effort to look at the studies and see how they can improve, I think the biggest changes will come when birthing women are more informed about their options. When women know what options they have and start asking questions about their care, they become empowered to make informed choices. I found a helpful, informative online booklet from Childbirth Connection. In it they answer the questions:

  • Which is safer, vaginal birth or c-section?
  • What are the possible benefits and harms of vaginal birth and c-section?
  • What is it like to have a c-section?
  • If my doctor or midwife suggests a c-section, how should I decide if it is right for me?
  • Is it possible to safely prevent a c-section?
  • What happens if I need a c-section?

To view this booklet click HERE.

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