Vital Birth Stats from 2004 for Montana

I was just over at Birth from a Cesarean Awareness Perspective, and was reminded about the CDC’s Vital Stats database.  You can look at all sorts of things with regard to childbirth such as:

Births: Final Data for 2004 (NVSR Volume 55, Number 1)
Demographic Characteristics of Mother – 2004 Information
Demographic Characteristics of Mother by State/County – 2004 Information
Gestation and Birthweight – 2004 Information
Period of Gestation by State/County – 2004 Information
Birthweight by State/County – 2004 Information
Method of Delivery – 2004 Information
Method of Delivery by State/County – 2004 Information
Prenatal Care – 2004 Information
Prenatal Care by State/County – 2004 Information
Selected Risk Factors – 2004 Information

I had a look at Methody of Delivery in Montana for year 2004 and was able to produce the following chart directly from the CDC website:

Method of Delivery by State/County – 2004
OTHER: Race (Total), Hispanic Origin (Total), Age of Mother (Total)
Delivery Method Total Vaginal – Total Vaginal – no previous C-section Vaginal – after previous C-section (VBAC) Vaginal – unknown if previous C-section C-section – Total C-section – primary C-section – repeat C-section – unknown if previous C-section Not stated
State/County                    
Yellowstone County,MT 1867 1411 1385 26 - 445 285 160 - 11
Montana counties <100,000 population 9652 7127 6994 133 - 2498 1474 1024 - 27

What does this mean?

In the state of Montana in 2004, 74% of all births were vaginal births, but VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) was only 1% of that total.  That is really not good.

Babies are born via cesarean section 26% of the time – about twice the total recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).  Primary cesareans were 15% of the total birth number.

What does this mean for you?

If you have a previous cesarean scar and want to avoid another, you will have be vigilant in your requests, your research, your choice of delivery location, and with your choice of caregivers, among other things.  1% is an atrociously low number for VBAC especially since 60-80% of women who choose to VBAC will succeed in vaginal birth.  It means we have a lot of work to do in Montana to advocate for humane maternal care and fully informed consent – not just information on the risks of VBAC but also on cesarean section.  It also means that we need to tell our sisters, daughters, friends, mothers, colleagues, and anyone else who will listen, that there are resources for avoiding cesarean birth . . . that most of the time, women are cut unnecessarily . . . that most of the time, women can labor and deliver babies with little or no intervention . . . that only a small percentage of pregnancies are truly high risk . . . that life involves risk and not all life events need to be controlled, managed, manipulated, or treated.

So my friend asks, “So what is your county doing to women and what are you doing to change it?”  First to find out what my county is doing – I think I recall the c/s rate at Community Hospital to be just shy of 30% which is just criminal!  Second, a Western Montana chapter of ICAN is in the planning stages . . .

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One response to “Vital Birth Stats from 2004 for Montana

  1. Pingback: Montana birth stats revisited « The Trial of Labor

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