As I was creating this site, I went through the birth logs of my students in order to see how, overall, the group series I teach impacts my students' experiences. Statistics are just information that allow us to see patterns; they are not judgements or expectations of results. When I gathered these statistics and compared them to published statistics around birth and breastfeeding in the United States, word on the street from lactation specialists and nurses in labor/postpartum units, and my own experiences working with breastfeeding families, the data showed that my class really does have a positive impact and improves outcomes for families. Not only was I hearing about the positive impact from the families I worked with, but I could literally see the results in numbers.
These statistics do not tell the whole story of each individual family. There is a lot missing from a statistical picture. Each family's story is unique and beautiful. It belongs to them. Each family dedicated themselves to preparing for and loving their baby (the most important part) - giving their family the very best start!
I cannot guarantee any particular outcome for your birth from my classes because I am not in the position to make the choices that need to be made that will influence your pregnancy, labor and birth, postpartum and breastfeeding. These decisions are yours to make. Class serves as a safe place to enlighten yourself and your partner so that you both are preparing on a deep level for the birth of your baby and new family life. It's an opportunity to work together, forge deep family bonds, and show your love for your baby. The numbers below are intended to help you in making decisions that are right for your personal family goals. I hope they may be of use to you.
Yes - YOU can have a positive birth experience!
Yes - YOU can have a natural childbirth!
Yes - YOU can breastfeed your baby!
The key is to EDUCATE yourself/your partner & PREPARE
Understand the birth scene:
L.A. hospitals have very high medicated birth rates
Interventions for all births are considered the norm.
Cesarean rates for the U.S. are at about 33% of total births and 26.5% for low-risk first time mothers with head down babies. Local hospitals have varying rates - you can find the c-section rates for CA hospitals here
Note: These cesarean rates only include low-risk first time moms with head down babies at term, excluding breech, twins, subsequent c-sections after a primary one, and multiparas (mothers with more than one birth)
Stats for maternity care in U.S. hospitals can be found here
Artificial induction of labor: 42.9% first time moms
Augmented with Pitocin: 31%
Note: Rates of intervention and induction tend be higher in cities (like L.A.) than other parts of the U.S. So these percentages will be actually higher in LA than national averages
The birth process has a major impact on the transition to breastfeeding and breastfeeding success. Interventions during birth without awareness of potential negative impacts and how to circumvent those can make for breastfeeding challenges. Being prepared and educated helps you succeed at breastfeeding even when interventions are wanted or needed.
You can have a natural birth with an OB. However, OB's are not trained to support natural childbirth (so they lack certain skill sets) and rarely see an unmedicated birth. If you decide to use a doctor, be savvy - choose yours with discernment and intention. You and your baby deserve the very best and most supportive care.
My students who have worked with midwives in the hospital setting, at birth centers, and at home have a higher success rate for natural birth. The cesarean rate is also much lower; a number of mamas/babies who would have likely had cesarean births with traditional obstetrical care had successful vaginal births under the care of midwives.
My Classes' Stats (2011 - 2019):
With a certified nurse midwife in the hospital:
95% Vaginal birth rate
90% Vaginal birth, no epidural
5% C-section rate
With a licensed midwife at birth center or home:
95% vaginal birth rate
90% vaginal birth, no epidural
5% c-section rate
Note: Some mamas and babies (about 18%) needed to transfer to the hospital; most have vaginal births and a few mama/babies needed a cesarean birth - this correlates with national stats of about a 15 - 20% risk of transfer for first time mama transfer rates. I've still included the transfers in this group rather than hospital stats because this was the primary care provider and intended birth.
With an obstetrician in the hospital:
92% Vaginal birth rate/mamas who labor
69% Vaginal birth, no epidural
15% C-section rate:
7% of mamas had a elective c-section due to
breech/transverse presentation or placenta previa.
Only 8% of mamas who labored needed a cesarean (compare to hospital rates linked to the left)
= 92% vaginal birth rate
Induced Labor: @ 15%
Augmented Labor (for mamas w/o epidural): @ 10%
Vacuum: < 5%
Breastfeeding rates for all students: Around 100% success
Made Informed Decisions Right for Their Family: 100%!
If you do not understand this terminology -you need class!