Mississippi currently has the nation’s highest rate of Caesarian sections performed, and according to Getty Israel, founder and CEO of Sisters in Birth, it isn’t a good look for the state.
On a recent episode of MidDays with Gerard Gibert, Israel explained that C-sections are “horrible for healthcare” when unnecessarily performed. The procedure is typically only imperative when a baby has been breached, the mother’s life is at risk, or the baby’s health is at risk.
“Unfortunately, many doctors in our state are performing C-sections that are not medically necessary,” said Israel. “In most cases regarding Black women around this country, the baby’s not breached, there’s no medical indication, it’s a first-time pregnancy, she’s young, so there’s really no medical reason for the C-section, but because a doctor wants to put her on a schedule, he or she will induce her. The induction often leads to C-section, particularly among Black women.”
Israel also explained that once a woman receives a C-section, statistics show that she will continue to do the same for any additional babies.
“When a woman has her first C-section, there’s an 89 percent chance she will have a second and a third because doctors will not allow her to even attempt to have a vaginal birth after a C-section,” Israel said. “That’s a major surgery that could lead to hemorrhaging (and) infections. And infections are the third-leading cause of women dying after having given birth in Mississippi followed by hypertension and heart disease.”
Since 1994, the rate of C-sections in Mississippi has increased by 63 percent among Black women and 33 percent among white women. According to Israel, there’s a direct correlation between the increase of C-sections and the income hospitals earn annually from the procedure.
“The state of Mississippi’s hospitals have earned over $228 million on average every year for C-sections. It is the number one surgery in this country.”
For the full interview with Israel, watch the video below.