Waiting Two Hours Could Reduce C-Sections

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Waiting before acting is often a good thing -- I think that all the time myself when my kids are making me insane. Stop. Wait. Give it a minute. Often the situation -- bad behavior, or my bad reaction to it -- will resolve itself if I just take a breather. Turns out the same may apply to C-sections and women who fail to progress during active labor. If the surgical team waits for a couple of hours, the woman may be able to avoid the cesarean.

A new study from researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that pregnant women whose labor stalls during the active phase of childbirth -- meaning two or more hours without cervical dilation -- can reduce health risks to themselves and their babies, and possibly avoid a C-section, by waiting an additional two hours.

In the study, involving just over 1,000 pregnant women, researchers found that when they waited an additional two hours, a third of the women went on to have a normal delivery (with the rest moving to a C-section).

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists already recommends waiting things out for two hours after a period of no progress, but it's routine practice in some hospitals to move ahead with surgery before giving the woman in labor that additional time.

The study estimates that waiting could reduce the number of cesarean deliveries by 130,000 in the U.S. each year.

(If you know you'll be having a C-section, connect with C-section Moms Support Group.)

So -- what do you think? Worth it to let the pregnant woman labor a while longer if her doctor will agree to it, or safer and easier to proceed with the C-section if things aren't progressing?

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