A choice Alabama mothers deserve:
I am writing regarding the article "Risks found in early C-sections" (The News, Jan. 8) on a new study led by researchers at UAB, which concludes "thousands of infants each year are put at increased risk of serious health complications by elective Caesarean deliveries performed before 39 weeks pregnancy." The status of our maternity care system baffles me. The World Health Organization recommends a Caesarean rate of 10 percent to 15 percent, yet Alabama's rate for 2006 was a whopping 34 percent.
While studying public health, I came to fully understand the concept of primary prevention: Prevent the disease or condition before it happens. I also became a firm believer in the practice of evidence-based medicine, which means physicians should base their practices on the latest scientific evidence. Why, then, do Caesareans continue to be offered electively?
Midwives provide options. A 2005 study published in the British Medical Journal found the Caesarean rate for mothers who utilized a certified professional midwife was 3.7 percent. Sadly, this option is unavailable to Alabama mothers. I urge Alabama's legislators to practice evidence-based lawmaking and legalize certified professional midwives.
Jennifer I. Crook Moore