Well Rounded Birth Prep

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

WV's cesarean rate vs. World Health Organization recommendations

How many moms research the cesarean rate of the hospital where they are planning to give birth? If you're delivering in the Kanawha-Cabell region of WV, here's what you're up against.

The World Health Organization has stated that the cesarean rate for any region (including the US) should not exceed 10-15%. Note that this figure is not a goal to achieve, but rather a threshold which should never be exceeded. If the cesarean rate exceeds 10-15%, more harm is being done than good.

That being said, the following statistics are the most recent which are available online for West Virginia (2005). The link includes the statistics for all WV hospitals. For brevity, here are our local tri-county hospitals.

Cesarean rates for

CAMC (Women's and Children's): 41.9%

Thomas Memorial: 54.8%

Cabell-Huntington: 35.3%

St. Mary's: 26.3%

Bear in mind that these numbers represent 2005 cesarean rates. The cesarean rate has risen nationwide for the past 12 years straight, so it's fairly safe to say that the current C-section rates are higher than these, but these are the most current numbers we have to assess.

WV has the 5th highest cesarean rate in the country.

Aaaaaaaaaaand: discuss.

P.S. Childbirth Connection explains why the US cesarean rate continues to rise as well as dispels 2 prominent myths about the rising cesarean rate here. What are some of the many factors causing WV's rates to be among the worst in the country? Clearly, it cannot be blamed on obesity or maternal request, as Childbirth Connection stated. It's a complex problem.


  1. As a FTM wanting a natural birth if possible, I find these numbers very disturbing. While the rate should not exceed 10-15% the national average is still around 30% and our numbers are even higher than that!

  2. I had a vba3c at Cabell Huntington Hospital, my doctor was not really for it, but I would not let the issue go, I showed her all my research,finally she gave in, and let me. She said I did so good if I have another I need to Vbac again!!!

    1. I had a VBA3C too, at the same place.
      I did the exact same as you, I wouldn't let the issue go, I brought in all of my research, I had done. I did a lot of praying too. My doctor said the same to me as well, that if I had another baby, she would want me to vbac again. I also was surprised that when the staff at Cabell Huntington learned that I was a vba3c, they supported me. Never let anyone tell you, YOU CAN'T. ITS NOT YOUR DOCTORS CHOICE. By law the hospital can not turn you away either. I proudly gave birth in Jan. 2012. I wonder if we had the same doctor? :)


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