The gentlebirth.org website is provided courtesy of
Ronnie Falcao, LM MS, a homebirth midwife in Mountain View, CA
This brief but well-referenced post analyzes cesarean rates relative to differences in maternal diagnoses or pregnancy complexity. On average, the likelihood of cesarean delivery for an individual woman varied between 19 and 48 percent across hospitals.”
Birth attendants often claim that their high cesarean rate is due to their clientele - that they provide care for a lot of high-risk clients. This analysis shows that:
Among lower risk women, likelihood of cesarean delivery varied between 8 and 32 percent across hospitals.
Among higher risk women, likelihood of cesarean delivery varied between 56 and 92 percent across hospitals.
Hospital variability did not decrease after adjusting for patient diagnoses, socio-demographics, and hospital characteristics.
This shows that practice variation in cesarean rates is real, substantive, and not just a reflection of the mother’s risk level.
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