St. Joseph Hospital reduces C section rates, promoting natural birth


EUREKA, CA., (KIEM)- The California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative recently released the results of a partnership with UCSF that focused on reducing the number or cesarean or “c-sections” in Northern California.

St. Joseph Hospital scored highest in reducing the number of c-sections (out of a group of 6 hospitals selected for the survey). When the collaboration started in 2017 the c-section rate at St. Joe’s was 22%, now it’s decreased to 13.2%.

The first step to promoting vaginal birth is understanding why women have c-sections, according to Kellie Renz, the OB Clinical Coordinator for the Childbirth Center at St. Joseph Hospital.

“Here at St. Joe’s the main reason [for c-section] was failure to progress, which is basically arrested dilation in active stage of labor, and arrested descent in second state labor. Where the mother is pushing for a long time and the baby is not coming.” Rentz says.

In some circumstances c-sections are medically necessary and save lives, but unnecessary c-sections come with other risks. Some of those risks include higher rates of hemorrhage, transfusions, infection and blood clots. Statistically babies delivered that route face higher risks of respiratory complications, and infection according to St. Joe’s neonatal intensive care unit.