According to a new survey, major labor interventions like C-sections are being used excessively on healthy women, who are not informed enough to advocate for themselves.
The survey report, Listening to Mother’s III, questioned 2,400 moms who gave birth in hospitals around the country. Only one in eight women reported not having procedures such as labor induction or speeded delivery. A quarter of the women received three or more of five serious interventions.
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The majority of moms surveyed did not have the correct knowledge about what would put them at risk for needing these potentially dangerous procedures. One in four reported being pressured by caregivers to receive an intervention.
“Pressure to have unwanted procedures, a lack of awareness about their downsides, and unqualified trust in health care providers are a potent combination, making women and their babies vulnerable to poor quality care,” Maureen Corry, the executive director of Childbirth Connection, told The Lund Report.
“Women urgently need access to publicly reported performance measures of health care providers and hospitals, and decision-making tools to help them choose safe, effective care that reflects their values and preferences.”
Many of the surveyed women also did not receive help like continuous doula care and support for depression and smoking cessation. Numerous moms who had already had C-sections and wanted vaginal births said that their hospital or maternity care provider refused.
“Underused maternity practices tend to be non-invasive, pose few if any risks, and use relatively few resources,” Dr. Eugene Declercq, the survey’s lead investigator, told The Lund Report. “They offer many opportunities to improve the quality, outcomes and cost of maternity care, with benefits for mothers and babies, and those who pay for their care.”
Have you ever been pressured to receive an unwanted maternity procedure? Leave a comment and let us know.