New guidelines urge doctors to reduce c-sections

New guidelines urge doctors to reduce c-sections

Amarillo, TX - One in three babies are delivered by cesarean section in Amarillo and that may be too many.

Two medical societies are asking doctors to be patient during labor and to avoid c-sections if possible. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine released new guidelines Thursday that said c-sections are sometimes unnecessary and are being overused.

The guidelines redefine what is considered "a slow or stalled labor." This is a game-changer because doctors have been using the same standards for determining when a c-section is needed since the 1950's.

"Friedman did a little study back in the 50's that said a first time mom's cervix should change 1.2 centimeters per hour," said Dr. Stephen Griffin. "That's what I was taught in medical school and it was just hammered into us. And the new study suggests that it may be as slow as half a centimeter an hour is normal."

Griffin said the c-section rate is about 30 percent in Amarillo, which is five percent less than the statewide average.

The guidelines said doctors should wait a lot longer before suggesting an emergency c-section, in most cases. They said waiting is especially important for first-time mothers.

Madison Alewel - NewsChannel 10