The question here is whether your daughter can trust her doctor's
judgment. My recommendation is for her to ask him his c/section
rate. If the number is higher than 15%, she will know that she
can't because her ob does more cesarean surgeries than are
justifiable. Both the World Health Organization and any number of
studies on practice variation show that in a mixed risk population,
that is, the normal run where some women in the practice are high
risk but most aren't, the cesarean rate can safely be under 15%. If
he won't say what his rate is, that’s a red flag too. He
should be keeping track of this important statistic. If her
ob’s rate is in the range supported by the research, she can
have confidence in his judgment.
If it turns out her ob’s cesarean surgery rate is high, she
should seek out an ob who has a cesarean rate in the appropriate
range, although I have to say that finding one may be difficult.
Local doulas, educators, or midwives may know who the appropriate
cesarean rate obs are. Once she has found such a doc, she can get a
2nd opinion. If the 2nd ob concurs with the 1st, then again, she
can have confidence in the 1st ob’s judgment. If the 2nd ob
disagrees, she’ll have a much better notion of where she
I also recommend going the Maternity Center Association’s
website and reading What
should I know about cesarean section?
In order to make an
informed decision, she should know the benefits and harms of all
her options. So far, it sounds like she has only heard the
(possible) harms of planned vaginal birth.
I don't know if you noticed, but there is another thread on this
issue as part of this Forum. You might find useful information
-- Henci By: Henci Goer