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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Twin Cities Hospital Cesarean Rates, 2010

Jill at The Unnecesarean recently posted a listing of Minnesota cesarean rates by hospital for 2010. This list is long, so below are the rates just for Twin Cities metro area hospitals.

Abbott: 37.1%
United: 34.9%
Fairview Southdale: 33%
Fairview University: 32.1%
Fairview Ridges: 31.5%
Maple Grove: 27.6%
Mercy: 27.2%
Unity: 25.4%
Woodwinds: 24.9%
St. Francis: 24.0%
Methodist: 24.0%
Regions: 23.5%
HCMC: 21.9%
North Memorial: 21.6%
St. John's: 20.9%
St. Joseph's: 13%

As these numbers show, only one hospital in the metro area has a cesarean rate that is within the World Health Organization's recommended safe range of 10-15% - St. Joseph's in St. Paul.  All other metro hospitals are well above that range.There are no real surprises in the hospitals that rank highest in cesarean births. Abbott, United, and Fairview Southdale have long vied with each other for the top three spots.

Evidence shows that choice of birthplace is a key factor in determining the kind of maternity care you get. These numbers should give you one piece of information to weigh when considering where you would choose to give birth in the metro, which should also shape who you choose as a care provider. For more information on choosing a birthplace, see ICAN's excellent white paper on the topic.

Also important to consider is whether or not the hospital(s) in your area support VBAC. Go to our local chapter's website for information on hospital VBAC policies in Minnesota.


MammaShineybstar said...

I hope these statistics are also balanced by why people are choosing to go to certain hospitals. I chose to go to United because I knew my pregnancy was high risk from multiple bouts of preterm labor and Children's is directly connected. My daughter was breech and a c-section was necessary. Many hospitals have higher c-section rates because of higher risk pregnancies being delivered at those hospitals. There are many facets to the issue here. This article is fairly misleading implying hospitals are forcing unnecessary c-sections on women.

Sarah said...

Thanks for your comment. However, I do not see where this article states that these hospitals are forcing cesareans on women. The intent is to point out that there is a great deal of variation in cesarean rates among Twin Cities hospitals and that women and their families should consider this as part of their *informed* decision making for maternity care. Some of the variation may indeed have to do with high vs. low risk factors, however, research studies have begun to show that even when you factor in risk levels, cesarean rates are not fully explained. A lot of it comes down to subjective decision making on the part of practitioners and hospital policies that aren't necessarily based on good scientific evidence. See and for more information.