KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Doctors’ Groups Urge Members To Reduce Number Of C-Sections

The move is designed to reduce the risk of unnecessary surgery, but some physicians may resist the effort.

NPR: Doctors Urge Patience, And Longer Labor, To Reduce C-Sections
Women with low-risk pregnancies should be allowed to spend more time in labor, to reduce the risk of having an unnecessary C-section, the nation's obstetricians say. The new guidelines on reducing cesarean deliveries are aimed at first-time mothers, according to the American College of Obstetricians and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, which released the guidelines Wednesday online and in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Schute, 2/20).

The Boston Globe: New Guidelines Urge Fewer Caesarean Births
In an effort to curtail caesarean sections, two prominent medical groups issued guidelines Wednesday calling for doctors to let first-time mothers remain in labor longer, and push harder, to see if more babies can be delivered vaginally. The recommendation was driven by recent studies showing that the rise over the past decade in caesarean sections hasn't led to better health outcomes for women or babies, such as lower mortality rates. ... Some obstetricians, though, may resist the advice, which includes allowing patients more time to dilate during labor, letting first-time mothers push for three hours or even longer, and using forceps to get the baby out vaginally (Kotz, 2/20).

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