DETROIT (AP) – Researchers say an initiative under way in 65 Michigan hospitals to discourage the use cesarean section births in many cases has already changed pregnancy care in the state.
The Michigan Health and Hospital Association initiative seeks to eliminate many C-section births and curb the use of labor-induction drugs during the first 39 weeks of pregnancy, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Under the project, elective or scheduled C-section births are discouraged unless the mother has a chronic disease or is carrying more than one baby, or her baby is small and developing slower. Nearly every birthing center in the state is participating.
The idea for the project began at Oakwood Hospital and Medical Center in Dearborn. Results of the study are expected to be published later.
Waiting to deliver a baby can help ease labor because too often, drugs used to induce childbirth intensify a woman’s pain and the duration of her labor, said Dr. Charles Cash, Oakwood’s obstetrics director and the doctor who initially suggested the initiative.
Measures that Oakwood Hospital and others have used include the more consistent use of labor-induction drugs; instruction about the use of pain-easing body positioning and equipment, such as large rubber birthing balls; and more counseling with women in labor.
Stephanie Schroeder preferred not having a C-section, she had one because her baby failed to progress after 24 hours of labor. Her son, Owen, was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 21 inches long at birth. She said the first days after the C-section were “rough.”
“They gave me a long time to try,” said Schroeder, 30, of Dearborn Heights.
The three-year-old Michigan project is one of few of its kind in the nation and the most successful, so far, in getting all hospitals in a state to participate, said Sam Watson, executive director of the Keystone Project for Patient Safety & Quality, a division of the Hospital Association.
The statewide trade organization has more than a half-dozen initiatives to improve quality of hospital care.
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