Maureen P. Corry's Remarks
Press Conference Called by Betsy Gotbaum
New York City Public Advocate's Office
July 13, 2005

Out of concern for rising cesarean rates and reduced access to vaginal birth after cesarean, Childbirth Connection (then known as Maternity Center Association) recently undertook a comprehensive review of more than 300 of the best research studies. The best research evidence is clear: unless there's a compelling and well-supported reason for cesarean section, vaginal birth is the safest way for women to give birth and babies to be born.

Women need full and accurate information well before labor about what is at stake in decisions about how to give birth. The belief that cesarean section is safe is a MYTH: vaginal birth is far safer overall for mothers and babies. THE REALITY IS THAT although cesarean section is safer now than in the past, it is major abdominal surgery and poses many extra risks for mothers and babies in comparison with vaginal birth.

The belief that planned cesarean is an optimal solution for mothers and babies is a MYTH: THE REALITY IS THAT although planned cesarean is very convenient for busy hospitals and caregivers, vaginal birth is far safer overall for mothers and babies.

The belief that vaginal birth is harmful for mothers and babies is a MYTH: THE REALITY IS THAT vaginal birth is far safer overall for mothers and babies than cesarean section.

Choosing a caregiver and birth setting are two of the most important decisions a pregnant woman must make. It is essential that women have access to complete information about hospital cesarean and vbac rates along with the rates of other maternity practices so they can make informed decisions about where to give birth.

Hospitals need to be held accountable for compliance with the Maternity Information Act and make this information accessible to consumers.

Thanks to Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum and Choices in Childbirth for calling attention to this issue.

Childbirth Connection's message to women is BE INFORMED, KNOW YOUR RIGHTS, PROTECT YOURSELF AND YOUR BABY. BE A STRONG ADVOCATE FOR SAFE AND SATISFYING CARE FOR YOU AND YOUR BABY. YOUR EFFORTS WILL BENEFIT OTHER WOMEN AS WELL.

Visit www.childbirthconnection.org for access to Childbirth Connection's consumer booklet, What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Section.

Thank you.


© 2014 Childbirth Connection. All rights reserved.

Childbirth Connection is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1918 as Maternity Center Association. Our mission is to improve the quality of maternity care through research, education, advocacy and policy. Childbirth Connection promotes safe, effective and satisfying evidence-based maternity care and is a voice for the needs and interests of childbearing families.
Most recent page update: 12/13/2006