Consumer Reports recently listed Lovelace Women’s Hospital as one of the U.S. hospitals in the large hospital category with the lowest C-section rates for the second year in a row.
According to Dr. Abraham Lichtmacher, chief of women’s services at Lovelace Health System:
I knew our hospital had low rates, but up until two years ago we weren’t able to compare our numbers with other hospitals. Once we reported our data, lo and behold, we found out we are the fourth best in the country for low C-section rates. I believe this is due to our staff practicing a good brand of medicine. There are certain circumstances that are out of our control, such as a baby in the wrong position or with multiple gestations, where the appropriate option is to perform a C-section. So if it is required, we will perform them. However, in many low-risk situations the decision to perform a cesarean birth depends on the clinical management and good judgment of our physicians. For example, we do look at other options if there has been no labor progression. We will try other things first to help move the labor process along; we do not look at a C-section as the first and only option. We also pay close attention to clinical indicators and try not to induce labor for inappropriate reasons or too early, because this can increase the need for a C-section. We are conservative with our decisions and always follow the clinical guidelines so that mom and baby are always safe. Our hospital also has a large midwifery service. Studies have shown patients who have good social support from a doula or midwife can help relieve their stress and produce a more successful labor process and potentially reduce the need for a cesarean birth. This does not reduce the role of the physician, but offers them additional support.
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