Did you know that childbirth is the reason for more hospital admissions than any other cause? Did you know that cesarean sections are the most common major surgery? It is really something to stop and consider: heathy, young people experiencing a normal physiological process are admitted to hospital and have major surgery more than any other demographic… Wow.
This video outlines some really interesting research that explores the fact that your chances of ending up in the operating room are not equal everywhere. Where you choose to give birth makes a difference.
The video is American. But this is our reality in Ontario as well. BORN Ontario is an organization that tracts data related to childbirth in our province. In 2016, BORN released a report that shows dramatic differences between our highest and lowest performing hospitals.
Take a look at the cesarean stats for the best performing hospital.
Here is the great news!
The primary cesarean section rate at Brockville General Hospital is right on track. Brockville General Hospital (BGH) has a team of three obstetricians, four midwives and many nurses who are committed to reducing your chances of having an unnecessary cesarean section. And as a team, we are very successful. If you are low risk and having your first baby in some Ontario hospitals, your overall risk of cesarean section is up to 33%. If you choose to have your baby with a BGH obstetrician or midwife your risk plummets to less than half of that.
And it gets better.
Everyone knows that skin-to-skin and early initiation of breastfeeding is important, right? If this is new information for you, check out the resources at OMama on the topic. At BGH, the policy is to support skin to skin and early initiation of breastfeeding even when there is a cesarean birth.
Sometimes there are medical reasons why this isn’t possible. But in the vast majority of cases you can expect that your partner will be with you during your cesarean birth. As soon as your baby is born and stable, your baby will be placed skin to skin with your support person (spouse, partner, etc.) right next to you. When the doctors have completed the surgery, your baby will be placed skin to skin with you. Your baby will stay with you while you are in the recovery room. Your midwife or nurse will assist you to begin breastfeeding.
Families who are kept together during cesarean births report less stress and higher levels of satisfaction with their experience.
Babies who are kept skin to skin immediately after birth and who breastfeed within the first two hours after birth regulate their temperature, heart rate, breathing rate, blood sugar levels, and stress hormone levels better. Exclusive breastfeeding rates (for those who choose breastfeeding) are also improved.
Bottom line: you should have your baby with a care provider affiliated with Brockville General Hospital. You will decrease the chances that you will end up with a cesarean section and if you do end up needing a surgical birth, you will be supported to stay together and get off to the best start.
Genia Stephen is a registered midwife and lactation consultant with Generations Midwifery care. You can learn more about Genia here.