Food for though for those looking into birth choices.TENS of thousands of Australian women with a low risk of birth complications and delivering in private hospitals are routinely receiving medical interventions once only given as a last resort. A leading midwifery expert has described the practice as ''horrifying''.In a landmark study of nearly 700,000 women in New South Wales hospitals, those giving birth privately were found to have a 20 per cent lower chance of delivering their first child through normal vaginal birth.
''The fact that these procedures, which were initially life-saving, are now so commonplace and do not appear to be associated with improved [baby] death rates demands close review,'' found the study, which is published today in the British Medical Journal's online journal, BMJ Open.
''The findings … suggest a two-tier system exists in Australia without any obvious benefit for women and babies and a level of medical over-servicing which is difficult to defend …''
A professor of midwifery and the leader of the study, Hannah Dahlen, said the women examined in 2000-08 were aged between 20 and 34, were not pre-term or overdue and carried babies of a normal weight.
''We looked at the healthiest, wealthiest population possible, exploding some of the myths out there that women receiving these interventions are sicker,'' Professor Dahlen, of the University of Western Sydney, said.
While 35 per 100 women gave birth with no intervention in public hospitals, this dropped to 15 per 100 in private hospitals.
''These are horrifying figures,'' Dr Dahlen said. She rejected the idea women in private hospitals might also be more risk-averse and therefore requesting the interventions.
''A recent Queensland study surveyed women to see if those in private hospitals were more likely to request a caesarean section, but found there were no differences,'' she said.
''Women need to be informed that intervention in childbirth is no walk in the park, with caesarean sections, for example, potentially causing a scarred uterus, which can increase the risk of complications in future pregnancies.''
Obstetricians highly trained in dealing with complications were overseeing the care of low-risk women, Professor Dahlen said, and had a tendency to see all births as risky until the baby was delivered. ''There is also strong incentive for surgeons to 'schedule in' women for induced births to make their workload and patient flow easier.''
She said the intervention rates of obstetricians should be made public, for example through the federal government's MyHospitals website.
But senior specialist and president of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians, Rupert Sherwood, said comparisons between public and private hospital births should be done in the context that they were two different groups of women.
''We've always known the intervention rates are different between public and private hospitals,'' Dr Sherwood said. ''We have no idea if the women in this study were choosing interventions … because the researcher did not ask women that
Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/pr...#ixzz261bj8ola
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10-09-2012 10:12 #1
Private hospital births: 'horror' figures
10-09-2012 10:14 #2Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2009
I saw this in the SMH this morning. What really stood out was that obs are seeing low risk women and treating each one as almost high risk until the baby is born.
10-09-2012 10:16 #3
Exactly. The figures state that low risk + hiring an OB = greater unnecessary intervention.
10-09-2012 10:23 #4Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2008
Re: Private hospital births: 'horror' figures
I'd beleive that. My friend is doing her prac in a maternity ward in a private hospital and said she was completely shocked by some of the stuff she has seen obs do. She used to be all "no way would I birth in a public hospital." But has really changed her tune.
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10-09-2012 10:30 #5Senior Member
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- Jun 2012
10-09-2012 10:31 #6
Gee, no ****
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10-09-2012 11:35 #7
That was a subjective opinion by a midwife. The article was very one sided (anti ob, pro midwife), and like the ob said, the study did not ask whether the women requested the interventions. Lots of subjective inflammatory comments such as saying obs scheduled in CS to make their workloads easier etc.
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10-09-2012 11:40 #8-
- Join Date
- Jul 2010
I hate studies like this because then there is so many people on their high horse telling everyone how their c-section wasn't needed and was just unnecessary and really they could have just had a natural birth in a public hospital, Well guess what that isn't always the case sometimes c-sections really are needed sometimes that is the best thing to be done. I realise that sometimes they are done unnecessary but sometimes they just aren't i really don't think there is a way that they can measure what was really needed and what was just to be convienient
10-09-2012 11:51 #9
I'm in NSW and must be one of the lucky ones... I had 3 natural births privately. There was never any question about how I was going to birth or any suggestions otherwise from my Ob. Out of all my friends or people I know, I know of only 2 that had C/S. One was breech and she had a VBAC the second time and the other requested/wanted C/S. We all went private. This is also a large social network of friends and family, so I'm not talking my immediate group of friends. Of course, I do not doubt at all that there are Obs that prefer to do C/S as it "fits" in with their schedule. If I felt like that with my Ob, I would've gone else where...
Basically there are too many variables and I think the article is a bit more about Ob bashing IMO.
10-09-2012 12:07 #10
Private hospital births: 'horror' figures
Seriously SO WHAT! Are people not prepared to pipe up and say no they don't want a social induction or elective c-section if they DON'T want it?
I have had 2 very successful social inductions in a private hospital both at 39 weeks. I was aware of the risks. But I CHOSE to do it (wasn't told) I wanted it for personal reasons.
People go private because one they are given choice. What business is it of anyone else's what someone chooses. So it may not be what you like. But it might mean husbands can be there, not having to be 100kms away from the nearest birthing hospital etc.
The day has changed. Perhaps they were once a last resort option but this day and age with partners working away and all sometimes its better off for the mother mentally etc. also i know mothers who have been abused who choose elective c-section ls to deliver their bubs because otherwise its to traumatic.
Each to their own. The only reasons the stats exist is because you don't get the choice in the public system as the funding isn't there. If it were and more staff available you would prob find more likely that less people would go private more would go public and then the stats would be higher in the public system.
Again... I seriously don't understand why everyone gets so political on this mater. It's choice. Simple. A patient can always say no and Seek another professionals opinion.
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