Dozens Protest Against Increasing Number Of C-Sections

Protesters Say Sharp Mary Birch Hospital Does Too Many Cesarean Sections

Dozens of mothers and birth professionals protested in front of Sharp Mary Birch Hospital on Saturday, demanding that something be done about the increasing number of cesarean sections.

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The protesters said c-sections put both mothers and babies at risk. They also wanted to remind mothers that deciding whether to deliver their babies surgically or not is their choice, not the doctor's.

"At Sharp Mary Birch, none of the people that I've worked with have had natural births… none of them," said doulah Kayti Buehler, who assists women and their families during births.

Buehler, who has assisted in 150 births, told 10News doctors at Sharp Mary Birch are too quick to scrub up for surgery and do too many c-sections.

Last year, about 42 percent of births at Sharp Mary Birch were c-sections. At Scripps La Jolla, it was 38 percent. At UCSD Medical Center, 36 percent of its babies were delivered surgically; at Pomerado Hospital, it was 35 percent; and at Sharp Chula Vista, 34 percent.

"The doctors don't have any incentive for lowering their cesarean birth rate," said Nicole Morales, a licensed midwife. "I think that there needs to be more informed consent given."

Dr. Philip Diamond, a staff physician at Sharp Mary Birch, told 10News, "We can't do a cesarean section without a patient's consent."

Diamond said the numbers suggest more c-sections at Sharp Mary Birch because the procedure provides a service for high-risk patients, who more often need c-sections for the health of both mother and child.

The protesters believe c-sections often are unnecessary, putting mothers and their babies at risk for complications.

One new mother who delivered her baby girl naturally said she wants other mothers to have all the facts.

"We hope that they learn to read about everything, learn about everything and make an educated decision," said mother Jessica Blasingame.

According to doctors, there are two reasons that c-sections are on the rise across the nation. One reason is because mothers are older and more of them have complications such as diabetes. The other reason is that women who have had one c-section often ask to have another whether they need it or not.

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