Why is the low-risk cesarean delivery rate important?
Cesarean delivery is the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States. Cesarean birth has a longer recovery time compared to vaginal birth and, like any surgery, comes with some risk of complications. It can also lead to complications in later pregnancies. However, even when everything leading up to the delivery seems “normal” and “low-risk”, sometimes it is necessary to perform a cesarean delivery for the safety of the baby, the mother, or both.
What does the low-risk cesarean delivery rate measure?
When we talk about low-risk cesarean deliveries, “low-risk” means a first-time mother is delivering one baby (not twins or triplets), head-first, at full term (near the due date). The low-risk cesarean rate is the percentage of these low-risk pregnancies that are delivered by cesarean.
Reducing the low-risk cesarean delivery rate is a nationwide health improvement Healthy People 2020 Goal intended to help improve health care in the United States. You can see how we are comparing to the rest of Texas, and the rest of the nation, based on this important goal here.
What can you do as a patient?
- Consider participating in childbirth classes and other offerings through Texas Children’s Hospital Pavilion for Women. Listen to a podcast through our Health Library.
- Read what The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) has to say about labor induction and cesarean birth. ACOG also provides additional patient resources in Spanish.