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J Perinat Educ. 2006 Winter;15(1):42-5.

The cesarean catastrophe.

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  • 1JUDITH LOTHIAN is a childbirth educator in Brooklyn, New York, and a member of the Lamaze International Board of Directors. She is also an associate professor in the College of Nursing at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.


The cesarean rate has reached an all-time high at 29.1% of all births in the United States. In this column, the risks inherent in cesareans are discussed within the context of the current climate of "intervention-intensive" labor and birth, forced cesareans, the precipitate decrease in vaginal births after cesarean, and the alarming increase in primary cesarean, including "patient-choice" cesareans. Strategies to increase women's confidence and to promote, protect, and support normal birth are discussed as ways to decrease the cesarean rate.

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