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National Birth Statistics
Too much unnecessary routine medical intervention in the pregnancy and birth process is putting babies and mothers at risk for harm of all kinds.
In the United States...
- 30.2% of all babies are born via cesarean surgery
Some local Chicago hospitals are at 50%! Ask before you choose your practitioner about their practice and hospital rates. Keep in mind statistics can be and are manipulated.
- 41% of mothers get induced.
- 76% of mothers have epidurals.
Learn about the risks before accepting this culturally dominant practice. Learn the truth about birth pain.
- 94% of mothers have electronic fetal heart monitoring.
- 85% of mothers are connected to an IV line during labor.
- 25% of mothers have an episiotomy.
- 57% of mothers who give birth vaginally are on their backs while giving birth.
- 57% of mothers with a previous cesarean were denied a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean).
- 15% of mothers were permitted to eat during labor.
Many midwives both at home and in hospital all nourishment during labor. This is hard work and you need it!
- 2% of mothers received care practices that promote normal birth and are endorsed by Lamaze International.
The figures above (except for the cesarean rate) are taken from the Childbirth Connections' Listening to Mothers Survey II conducted in collaboration with the Harris Group.
* Center for Disease Control, 2005 preliminary data
Around the world...
- Each minute a woman dies from complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
This is due to not having the medical support when necessary, nutritional problems as well as having too many children to name a few of the issues.
- More than 500,000 maternal deaths occur each year around the world, the most in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by south-central Asia.
Source: Maternal Mortality in 2000: Estimates Developed by WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA.
For more global information on maternal health and mortality, visit the following Web sites:
- "Maternal and perinatal health"
World Health Organization, Human Reproduction
- The White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood
Want more information?
For a look at Birth Misconceptions: Myth and Fact check out the Birthing the Future web site.