Doctors advised to give mothers more time to give birth before assuming labor has stalled0
WASHINGTON — Show more patience in the delivery room: That’s the prescription being given to the nation’s obstetricians.
New guidelines say doctors should give otherwise healthy women more time to deliver their babies vaginally before assuming that labor has stalled. The recommendations are the latest in years of efforts to prevent unnecessary C-sections.
“Labor takes a little longer than we may have thought,” said Dr. Aaron Caughey, who co-authored the guidelines for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
The recommendations are being published jointly Thursday by two groups of pregnancy specialists — ACOG and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine — amid growing concern that C-sections are overused.
Nearly 1 in 3 women in the U.S. gives birth by cesarean. Yes, C-sections can be life-saving for mother or baby. But they also can be done for convenience or fear of lawsuits, and the surgery can bring some serious health risks. And having one cesarean greatly increases the chances that a next pregnancy will end in one, too.
One of the main reasons for a first-time C-section is labor that’s progressing too slowly, ACOG’s analysis found.