I met a mom in the park the other day who was planning her third cesarean. With both her first and second babies she was declared to be 41 weeks with no sign of labor. Since she "failed" to go into labor twice, her OB is of course recommending a scheduled cesarean. I've heard more then one mom state the reason for their cesarean as failure to go into labor by 41 weeks. My friend Ginny, who helped me find the way to home birth with my second baby (a VBAC) has her babies around 42 weeks and, you guessed it, no sign of labor at 41 weeks. So I suggested the mom mention the new study, "Timing of Elective Repeat Cesarean Delivery at Term and Neonatal Outcomes" when she asks her OB to schedule the cesarean at 39 and 1/2 weeks (her request) rather than earlier (her OB's plan).
And if you need some more food for thought, check out this OpEd by Michael McGuire, the CEO of United Health, one of the largest managed care organizations (MCO) in the country, about the link between elective c-section and other elective pre-term delivery and NICU admissions.
McGuire writes: "It turns out that in an audit of all UnitedHealthcare-insured ba bies admitted to the NICU in one market, 48 percent of all newborns admitted to NICU were delivered by elective admission for delivery including scheduled C-sections (cesareans), many taking place before 39 weeks of pregnancy, or full term."
Think about it. If a mom with a 42 week gestation has a scheduled cesarean at 38 weeks, her baby is denied four extra weeks in the womb. And yet I regularly hear of moms who have their first cesarean because of a failed induction at 40 and a half or 41 weeks and then in their second pregnancy, their cesarean is scheduled at 38 weeks!