Cesarean Awareness: Reduce Risk Tip #1 - Location, Location, Location! 2016 Erie, Meadville, Warren Cesarean Rates
As part of Cesarean Birth Awareness month, we've looked at reasons why the rate of cesarean birth is so high. Now we'll spend time looking at ways we can reduce the chance of having an "unne-cesarean" birth. Studies show that one of the primary risk factors is WHERE we give birth, and with WHOM (provider), so we should choose carefully among our options. In this area (Erie, PA), our choices are more limited, so self-education is even more critical. We sadly don't have any birth centers so most mothers go to local hospitals and others choose to birth at home with a qualified midwife. Talk to Erie Doulas about your regional options for birth at home or hospital.
So what is your provider's cesarean rate? There are many places you can find information, and some are listed below. If your information isn't included, call your local hospital, get someone from Labor & Delivery on the phone and ask! Here are the 2016 cesarean rates for hospitals in our region as compiled by the PA Department of Health:
Millcreek Community Hospital (LECOM) 33% , Saint Vincent Medical Center 33%, UPMC Hamot 39% (!!!), Warren General Hospital 27.3%, Meadville Medical Center 27.3%.
If you would like more information, here are some resources:
The Leap Frog Group (only UPMC Hamot responded)
Of course, no one can be certain about how a baby will be born. But the point is that if we want to reduce our risk of an unnecessary surgical birth , there are informed choices that will help us to do so.