Study: Unnecessary Medical Procedures Common in Delivery Rooms

Many pregnant women often opt for risky medical procedures and interventions that are medically unnecessary, according to a recent article in Consumer Reports. The article focuses on a survey conducted by the nonprofit Childbirth Connection, which focuses on the needs of expectant mothers.

Our survey suggests that pregnant women need to take a more active role to make sure they get the care that is best for themselves and their babies, a spokesperson for the group said. They need access to trustworthy information about the benefits and harms of interventions, to educate themselves, and be their own advocate.

The survey showed two disturbing results. First, women were denied options by their doctors such as having vaginal births instead of C-sections. Secondly, many unnecessary interventions led to other procedures.

The more procedures a person has the greater the risk is that a complication, infection, or medical malpractice incident will occur.

Two of the most common unnecessary procedures were induced labor and epidural analgesia. Women who underwent either of these procedures were far more likely to end up having a C-section than those who were neither induced early or given an epidural.

That six-fold increased risk for surgery shows the cascade of intervention that often begins with labor induction, one doctor noted