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St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake Achieves National C-Section Goal Early

Childbirth St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake Achieves National C-Section Goal Early 

Clearlake, Calif.—St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake reported a 19.7% rate of low-risk caesarean births among first time pregnant women in 2014, achieving the federal government’s Healthy People 2020 target of 23.9% or less six years early. The trend continued in 2015, with a rate of 14%. 

“Our goal is to provide quality care that helps families grow and flourish,” says Colleen Assavapistkul, the hospital’s Vice President of Patient Care. “As a mom myself, I am very proud that we are encouraging women with low risk to avoid unnecessary surgeries.” 

Although cesarean, or C-section, births can be lifesaving when medically needed, national reports show that they are performed for other reasons in some hospitals. The statistics around low-risk cesarean births prompted the federal government to set ambitious goals to reduce these types of procedures as part of the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion’s Healthy People 2020 targets. 

“The rise in these procedures has resulted in significant health, social and economic costs for American women, their babies and the general public,” explains the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative, a partnership of more than 40 public and private agencies focused on improving maternal and infant health outcomes. 

The hospital’s Women’s Care Unit staff is proud of how it collaborates with families, physicians, and the team providing prenatal and childbirth education services at St. Helena Family Health Centers throughout Lake County to avoid unnecessary C-sections. 

“Childbirth is a natural process, and we work with mothers to optimize this amazing moment in their lives,” says Dr. Kimberly Fordham, family medicine and obstetric physician at St. Helena Family Health Center – Middletown. “Sometimes cesareans are necessary for the mom and/or baby’s health, and we certainly intervene when needed, but our Women’s Care Unit staff and providers have many skills and tools to help most women deliver naturally.” 
St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s Women’s Care Unit provides labor and delivery services to over 300 women and their infants each year. The unit is staffed by highly-trained doctors, Certified Nurse Midwives, experienced labor and delivery nurses and other professionals focused on providing the specialized care pregnant women and newborns need. 

Growing families can learn more about St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake’s family birth services, including childbirth education classes, on the St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake websitein the Services section.