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Problem of Cesareans

February 05, 1989

Recent articles in The Times and the Tribune point out the problem of too many Cesarean sections and call for hospitals to do more to lower the rates of C-sections.

While the situation is not satisfactory at the present time in San Diego, some hospitals are addressing the problem.

At Kaiser hospital, our C-section rate is among the lowest in San Diego County and has been for quite some time. One of the reasons is that we have dramatically reduced the number of repeat C-sections. The old adage "Once a C-section, always a C-section" is just not true.

Vaginal births after C-section are successful about 75% of the time. At Kaiser hospital, this policy has saved hundreds of women from having another C-section.

One other factor contributes to our success at lowering the C-section rate. Since C-sections are performed because the baby is in the breech position (feet first instead of head first), our physicians have been literally turning the babies 180 degrees inside the uterus so the head points down and a regular vaginal birth is possible.

JIM McBRIDE

Public affairs director

Kaiser Permanente

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