Do you know what one of the biggest risk factors is for having a C-section that you don’t need? It’s the hospital and healthcare providers you use. One out of every two C-sections could be avoided. Click on the links at the bottom of this page to learn about the C-section rate at your hospital.
No matter which hospital you’ll deliver at, talk to your doctor, nurse, or midwife at your pre-natal appointments. Let them know that you only want a C-section if it’s absolutely needed.
An additional risk factor for having a C-section is bias and racism. Black women have higher C-sections rates than white women. This difference cannot be explained by age, income, educational level, or health insurance status. Research shows that bias and racism -- not race -- are important reasons for the differences in maternity care and birth outcomes for Black women/birthing people and their babies.
Before you go into labor, make sure the people who will be with you in the hospital know that you only want a C-section if it’s absolutely needed. Also make sure that they understand when a C-section is actually the best delivery option for you. Consider having extra support or advocacy help with you while you’re in the hospital. This could mean bringing a doula or a trusted friend or family member with you. It’s your birth.
What Every Pregnant Woman Needs to Know About Cesarean Birth will tell you more about the risks and benefits of C-section and vaginal births. The more you know, the better you can advocate for yourself and your baby.
You can also learn more below about the hospitals where you live, including how often they perform C-sections.
Live in California? Use these links to see how your hospital’s C-section rates compare to other hospitals.
• Cal Hospital Compare
• Yelp (search for your hospital to see its C-section rates in Yelp’s Maternity Care Data table)
• California C-Section Hospital Honor Roll List (search for your hospital to see if it's one of the hospitals in California with a lower C-section rate)
Live outside of California? Check here to see how your hospital’s C-section rates compare to others in your area. (Sort by “maternity care.”)