The Surprising Factor Behind a Spike in C-Sections


“The hospital where woman gives birth may be the single most important factor influencing whether or not she has a c-section.”

– Neel Shah, director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs.


In this interview, Obstetrician Neel Shah explains why the hospital where a woman gives birth may the single most important factor in whether or not she has a Cesarean Birth. He says “C-sections in this country vary between 7% and 70% by hospital. It’s tenfold risk, depending on where you go.” Please listen to this informative and EYE OPENING talk (and check links bellow to find out your local cesarean rates) if you are interested and reducing your chance of a cesarean birth.



This talk can also be listened to on Youtube.



Consumer Reports: Your Biggest C-Section Risk May Be Your Hospital

What are my local hospital’s Cesarean Rates?

What is my doctor’s C-section rate? (scroll down to almost the bottom of the page)


Also read the American College of Gynecologists & Obstetricians stance in addressing this issue. >> Safe Prevention of the Primary Cesarean Delivery


What does “Sacred Path Birth” mean?

posted in: Fear of Birth, Sacred Birth | 0

birth is Ancient

Since the beginning of time women have held one truly united honor, the gift of bringing new life into the world. Often women feel an overwhelming sense of destiny after birthing their child and share a feeling of connectedness to all mothers.

She feels a sense of purpose, “This is what I’m here to do. I was made for this”.

These feelings in many way confirm the blueprint and geneticism of the female rite.

In modern society this ‘sense’ is all too uncommon. A stronger trend is one of fear of the birth process.

Social stories that have been passed down recent generations have fed this fear, and the medical approach towards birth as a medical condition that needs intervention has only solidified the prevalent belief that birth is a scary and/or unpredictable medical emergency.

Research has estimated that up to 95 percent of women can safely give birth without medical interventions. (Wikipedia – Natural Childbirth) A minority of women may need some kind of medical help during birth, and thankfully these resources exist.

But in many cases these interventions are unnecessary and can often lead to undesirable outcomes for mother and baby, and thus feed the negative cycle of birth fear that exists today.

In most cases, the birthing process takes over and performs as a perfectly designed mechanism. The process has shown to be wise and reliable for the majority of women.

The current climate of fear for the birth process is hindering mothers from experiencing the fullness of their due rite, and the incredible feeling of accomplishment and empowerment that comes with it.

As individuals and a society it is time to replace that fear with trust and respect for the process that has worked all throughout time, and brought each one of us here today.

Honoring birth for what it has been and continues to be, a Mother’s Sacred Path….

“Natural Childbirth.” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 10 Feb. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2013

What is a Doula?

The Essential Ingredient: Doula from DONA International on Vimeo.

Is the term “Doula” new to you?

For ages women have been caring for women during labor and childbirth.

It was only in the past few centuries this practice has shifted.

The tide is starting to shift back. Many women are requesting the supportive care of a doula at their birth.

A doula provides emotional, physical, and informational support to the mother. Before birth she will get to know the mother and discover what is important to her regarding her birth. She will understand the mothers wishes and concerns regarding her upcoming birth. The doula is available to the mother throughout pregnancy to answer questions and be a support for her. The doula attends to the mother throughout her entire labor and delivery, and can assist in getting breastfeeding initialized following delivery.

The doula is not a replacement for the mothers birth partner but an addition to her team of support.

She can suggest new ways in which the partner can provide support, as well as staying attentive to the mother during times the partner may need to take a break.

Numerous studies have shown that labors with the caring support of a doula lead to fewer medical interventions including cesarean sections. Women are more relaxed, fear is reduced, and pain medication use is reduced in doula supported labors. Labors with doulas present have shown to be more satisfying, empowering, and positive experiences for the mother.

The doula’s calm presence and commitment to the mother’s well-being helps counteract the effects of stress hormones (adrenaline and noradrenaline) which are released when a woman in labor becomes anxious, fearful, or insecure. Elevated stress hormones cause labor to slow down or stop while heightening the perception of pain. A trusting, relaxed mother continues to produce oxytocin (the hormone that causes the uterus to contract). She has more effective contractions, but with less tension in her body, she feels less pain. With quiet reassurance, the doula helps the laboring mother and her partner to draw on their own unique talents and strengths.
Excerpt from: NEW BEGINNINGS, Vol. 15 No. 1, January – February 1998, p. 4-7. By Carol M. Lynch and Patricia B. Holliday. Article: The Doula and the Breastfeeding Family

Women were never meant to labor without the nurturing support of other women.



This conceptual model visually describes the benefits to mothers and babies from receiving continuous labor support, created by Rebecca L. Dekker, PhD, RN, APRN. If you’re looking for some extra reading I highly suggest her many brilliant articles at
I will close with the words of Dr. John Kennell, author and co-founder of DONA,

“If a doula were a drug, it would be malpractice not to use it.”