For soon-to-be mothers who are delivering their babies at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital, the goal is to give them the delivery they desire.
“We sit down with each patient individually and talk about what’s safe, what’s appropriate, but we’re also patient, and that’s a super important part of labor and delivery,” said Dr. Kelly Owens, with Jefferson Obstetrics and Gynecology.
At Sentara Martha Jefferson, a low C-section rate has gone hand-in-hand with helping women have their ideal birth.
In 2018, the total C-section rate at Sentara Martha Jefferson was 26%. When you consider only primary, or first-time C-sections, the rate drops to 12%.
“12% for a primary C-section rate is way below the goal of a lot of labor and deliveries around the country,” noted Dr. Owens
And doctors note there are many reasons for the low rates at Sentara Martha Jefferson. First, women aren’t placed on continuous fetal monitoring, which allows them to move around.
“We allow patients to ambulate during labor. We allow women to use the Jacuzzi tub,” noted Dr. Owens.
Additionally, doulas are welcomed to participate and a 1:1 nurse ratio also provides important support for patients.
“If a mom feels very comforted and educated by her nurse and caregiver she’s going to be more successful,” said Dr. Owens.
Finally, time is given to allow patients to have their labor progress before decisions regarding interventions are made.
“We let patients take time and to get to the active part of labor. We also let patients take time come to a decision about whether interventions are needed at all. We feel so proud at the end of the day when we walk out of here and a mom got a birth she wanted,” said Dr. Owens.