Cesarean Delivery Vs Vaginal Delivery Essay

1618 words - 6 pages

Worldwide, the rate of cesarean section is increasing. According to the CDC, in 2012 the rate of cesarean sections comprised 32.8% of all births in the United States (CDC, 2013). Between 1996-2009 the cesarean section rate has risen 60% in the U.S (CDC, 2013). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 50% of the 137 countries studies had cesarean section rates higher than 15% (WHO, 2010). The current goal of U.S. 2020 Healthy People is to reduce the rate of cesarean section to a target of 23.9%, which is almost 10% lower than the current rate (Healthy People 2020, 2013). According to a study conducted by Gonzales, Tapia, Fort, and Betran (2013), the appropriate percentage of performed cesarean sections is unclear, and is dependent on the circumstances of each individual birth (p. 643). Though often a life-saving procedure when necessary, the risks and complications associated with cesarean delivery are a cause for alarm due to the documented rate increase of this procedure across the globe. Many studies have revealed that cesarean deliveries increase the incidence of maternal hemorrhage and mortality and neonatal respiratory distress when compared to vaginal deliveries. As a result, current research suggests that efforts to reduce the rate of non-medically indicated cesarean sections should be made, and that comprehensive patient education should be provided when considering an elective cesarean delivery over a planned vaginal delivery.
There is no clear definition for elective cesarean delivery (ECD). Every study reviewed had a different set of guidelines used to define what an ECD includes. Many researchers defined the term broadly; with definitions ranging from performing a cesarean section before the beginning of spontaneous labor to Vered, Nadir, and Feldman’s (2012) definition of cesarean sections as, “maternal request, recurrent CS, breech presentation, macrosomia and active herpes,” (p. 1055). This definition was inconsistent between all of the studies examined, and some studies considered medically indicated cesarean sections to be elective. Almost all studies defined a vaginal delivery (VD) as a spontaneous VD, an induced VD, or a planned VD that resulted in an emergency cesarean section (De Luca, Boulvain, Irion, Berner and Pfister, 2009…).
One of the primary consequences associated with cesarean delivery was maternal mortality. According to Gonzales, Tapia, Fort, and Betran (2013), maternal mortality was defined as, “the death of a woman while pregnant or within 72 days of the termination of the pregnancy from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy.” (pp. 638-639). According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) (2014), the current maternal mortality rate associated with CD in the United States is 13.3 deaths per 100,000 births, and the mortality rate in VD was 3.6 deaths per 100,000 births (p. 3). Additionally, the study conducted by Gonzales, Tapia, Fort, and...

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