Reducing Cesarean Births - PIH Health

Skip to Content

Published on October 23, 2017

The Importance of Vaginal Deliveries and Reducing Cesarean Births

Pregnant woman

pregnant womanIn some cases a cesarean (C-section) delivery is the only option for pregnant women due to certain health complications. However, there are risks associated with C-section deliveries, including higher risk of infection, blood loss and bladder and/or uterine complications for the mother. It is important for expectant mothers to know their options before a C-section is scheduled.

“There are a number of methods and tools to help mothers have a successful vaginal delivery,” says Karen Profeta RN, administrative director of Maternal Child Health Services at PIH Health Whittier Hospital. “Expectant mothers should meet with their provider to discuss birthing preferences and to ensure that the provider is on board with the mother’s wants and needs.”

To ensure C-sections are only performed when medically necessary, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Health and Human Services set a Healthy People 2020 federal public health objective for hospitals that perform low-risk, first birth cesarean sections.

This initiative has led state officials to recognize hospitals in the Southern California region that have maintained low-risk, first birth cesarean section rates. And, to date 104 hospitals are listed on the Smart Care California hospital honor roll for maintaining low C-section birth rates. PIH Health Whittier Hospital has already surpassed the Healthy People 2020 Goal of 23.9 percent.

“Our physicians work with the nursing team to promote increased use of birthing balls, body positioning, and encourage more time out of bed; be it in a chair or walking around the unit,” says Profeta. “Marshalling multi-disciplinary support that includes physicians, nurses and clinical educators is the key to our success in reducing low-risk, first birth cesarean sections.”

Individuals who plan to have a baby or have one on the way can call 1.877.815.2211 for a referral to a doctor affiliated with PIH Health Whittier Hospital or visit to find a doctor.

The information in Healthy Living Online is for educational purposes only.  It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice.  The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation, or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan.

Follow Us

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Instagram

Don't miss any Healthy Living Online posts - Like us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.