According to a recent report from Virginia Health Information (VHI), Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center’s Caesarian section rates were lower than expected, and were dramatically lower than the national average. This is important news, since Caesarian deliveries increase a woman’s chance for complications and infection and can dramatically lengthen recovery times. An ongoing international survey from the World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that despite medical advances in obstetrics, surgical childbirths are risky for mothers and babies.
Bon Secours DePaul’s Center for Birth has a 91 percent success rate for vaginal birth after a C-section – good news for new mothers in Hampton Roads. The VHI report cites 2006 data that shows that Bon Secours DePaul’s C-section rate was 14.25 percent, 3.5 points lower than its expected rate.
The rate is also less than half of the national C-section rate, which hovers between 30 and 40 percent.
Elizabeth Golpira, MD, an OB/GYN at Bon Secours DePaul, says that the doctors and midwives at Bon Secours are committed to helping mothers deliver vaginally, unless medically necessary. They also encourage women to try to deliver vaginally, even after having a C-section, while many hospitals do not offer this as an option.
Dr. Golpira said there are a number of reasons why women are having more Caesarians:
- more women are having babies who weigh more than 9 lbs;
- with women having more ultrasounds, doctors are better able to determine if the baby is going to be large; and
- some older patients worry about the labor process, or have complications such as hypertension or gestational diabetes.
“We want to give women the chance to deliver naturally,” Dr. Golpira said. “Having this option is especially important for overweight or diabetic women, who are more at risk for infection or may have difficulty healing.”