Spring 2009 - "Mommy, What did you do in the industrial revolution?"

Mommy, what did you do in the industrial revolution? Meditations on the rising cesarean rate.

Plante, L.A. Mommy, What Did You Do in the Industrial Revolution? Meditations on the Rising Cesarean Rate. The International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics. Spring 2009;2(1):140-147.

Lauren A. Plante, MD, MPH, FACOG
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia PA
Email: Lauren@LaurenPlante.net

The cesarean rate in the US has been rising for decades, and in 2006 hit an all-time high of 31% (Hamilton, 2007.) This record is likely to stand for only a brief time, that is, until figures are released for 2007. Can it really be that one-third of women are unable to birth without high-level technological support? And is there an endpoint in sight? “In the next decade or so the industrial revolution in obstetrics could make Cesarean delivery consistently safer than the birth process that evolution gave us.” (Gawande, 2006, 8) Against such an argument, who could hope to stand?

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