I have had the honor of participating in 11 births so far (not counting my own). Odds are that I should have been present at a cesarean birth by now but I have not yet had that experience (silent prayer that my "luck" continues). The chances of having a cesarean weren't always so high. Here is an interesting bit of information from an even more interesting book:
Alfred Rockenschaub, MD, professor of midwifery and physician in charge of the midwifery service of the Ignac Semmelweis Frauenklinik in Vienna, oversaw the delivery of 44,500
babies from 1965-1985. During that time, the cesarean section rate hovered just over 1% and the infant mortality was below the overall rate in Vienna at the time. The cesarean rate rose sharply after Professor Rockenschaub retired, and in 1999 stood at 19%.1
Wow! One doctor left and the cesarean rate rose from 1%-19%. And we know that on The Farm in Summertown Tennessee, out of 2,028 pregnancies from 1970-2000, only 1.4% ended in cesarean.2 If I was a doctor and I knew about those kind of statistics and my cesarean rate was 30%, I would do some serious soul-searching.
1 David K. Cundiff, MD., Money Driven Medicine, Tests and Treatments that Don't Work (David K. Cundiff, MD., 2006), http://www.doctormanagedcare.com/ (accessed August 9, 2007)
2 Ina May Gaskin, Spiritual Midwifery (Summertown,Tennessee: Book Publishing Company,2002),468.