What are we tracking and why?
We track the percentage of patients who have a cesarean section for the first time because we want to be sure we are not performing cesarean sections unnecessarily. A cesarean birth can be life-saving; however, the increase in the national cesarean birth rate from 1996 to 2011 did not show significant improvements in outcomes.
We want to ensure the healthiest outcome for a pregnancy, both for the mother and the baby. We recommend cesarean deliveries only after careful review of the clinical situation and best practices. The most common indications for a cesarean section include abnormal labor patterns, fetal distress, incorrect position of the baby, multiple gestations and suspected large baby.
How are we doing?
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRB) and Fort Belvoir Community Hospital are referral centers for routine pregnancies and deliveries in the National Capital Region Multi-Service Market . WRB is the referral center for high-risk pregnancies and complicated deliveries.
What are we doing to improve?
We use national guidelines and current data on abnormal labor patterns to safely reduce the rate of first-time cesarean sections. We use a standardized approach to the interpretation and management of fetal heart rate monitoring. We encourage the use of External Cephalic Version, a manual procedure used for breech presentations to enable vaginal delivery. We promote vaginal delivery for twins if the first twin is in the head-down position.
If a cesarean is requested by a patient for a non-medical reason, a counseling session with an obstetrician and review by the OBGYN staff is required.
What can you do?
Please contact us with any questions or concerns.