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Many women may not have all the information they need when choosing a C-section

C-sections getting popular, but it may not be for the right reasons, says Mary Barger.

Mary Barger

As more women opt for Caesarean section births over vaginal birth, BU’s Mary Barger says many of those women aren’t aware of all their options.

Assistant Professor of Maternal and Child Health at the School of Public Health and nurse midwife, Barger appeared last week on New England Cable News to comment on a report of Massachusetts birth data which shows an increased rate of Massachusetts women with low-risk pregnancies opting for C-sections during childbirth.

Barger says that while many obstetric providers claim that the increase in the procedure is due to requests by patients, there are really very few women who will ask for a C-section. It is the physicians, she says, that often encourage patients to opt for the procedure, even when the woman has a low-risk factor associated with the childbirth. She also discussed the reasons physicians may encourage a C-section, such as fear of malpractice, and the ease it can provide to the physician’s professional and personal life.

Barger believes advocacy of Caesarean sections by obstetric providers has changed the culture so much that people believe it is easier to have a C-section than to opt for a vaginal birth, when really there are many risks involved with the C-section procedure.

“I feel that my job as a nurse midwife is to educate women about what their options are—my feeling is that women are not being given fair counseling about C-sections.”