Hospitals take ‘hard stop’ on early elective C-sections, inductions

Beginning next month, many pregnant women in Oregon will no longer be able to have the early delivery they’ve been dreaming of. 

On Sept. 1, Oregon will become the latest state where some hospitals are refusing to do elective, non-medically necessary inductions and cesarean sections before 39 weeks of pregnancy. The goal is to give babies more time for important development and to reduce costly complications after birth.

Seventeen Oregon hospitals — including all nine birthing hospitals in the Portland area — have agreed to a “hard stop” on the elective procedures, according to the March of Dimes’ Oregon chapter, which announced the agreement earlier this month. The agreement covers about half of the deliveries in the state.

The number of cesareans and inductions at 37 and 38 weeks has been growing as women schedule their deliveries for their convenience or to be delivered by their own doctor, says Michele Larsen, the Oregon chapter’s communications director. Deliveries at those weeks have risen in the U.S. in the last decade and now account for 17.5 percent of live births, she said. About one in three C-sections are done before 39 weeks, according to a 2009 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.”

I sometimes wonder how the average rosebud would do if I were to force open its petals to compel it to be open and beautiful….

I applaud the hospitals who have taken a hard line against inductions before 39 weeks, but for this childbirth educator who believes in trusting nature, and who birthed a child after a 45 weeks gestation, the whole induction mess is just another layer of insanity around birth.  OK, so we have just “normalized” the 39 week induction, what about those of us who go 41 weeks or 42 weeks or 43 weeks???

Will our babes and our bodies be supported in gestating as long as the child needs to be ready to be born?

Jenny Hatch




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