On-Demand Cesarean Section May Not Be a Safe Choice

"Contrary to the ACOG statement, fear of pain in labor need not force women to have cesareans. All women benefit from emotional, physical and, most importantly, educational support in labor and when making decisions about the birth of their child. Studies have shown the value of doula services in lowering the cesarean section rate," added DONA President Ann Grauer.

Lamaze, ACNM, DONA, CIMS and ANACS believe that all caregivers should respect the birth process and not intervene without compelling medical indication. Carolyn Rafferty, executive director of ANACS, reported, "A growing number of obstetric nurses are deeply concerned at the prospect of placing increasing numbers of women at unnecessary surgical risk. We implore obstetrical nurses around the country to speak up for women and fulfill the nursing obligation of patient advocacy."

Collectively, Lamaze, ACNM, DONA, CIMS and ANACS speak on behalf of nearly 15,000 childbirth professionals and reach approximately three million expectant parents each year.

Source: Joint statement released by Lamaze International, ACNM, DONA, CIMS and ANACS, November 19, 2003

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