Battling C-Section Epidemic Through HumanizationMon, 01/14/2019 - 10:11
Although humanized childbirth is widely recommended by the WHO, not all hospitals or countries have adopted this philosophy. Cesarean sections are more than a common practice in Mexico, even when unnecessary, due to a lack of proper communication from hospitals and the practices of insurers, according to Francisco De Urioste, Medical Director of Sanatorio Durango. “Insurers normally do not cover natural childbirth, only cesarean sections,” he says. “To guarantee coverage, parents simply choose the latter.”
According to WHO, the cesarean phenomenon affects several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In fact, six of the 10 countries with the highest cesarean rates in the world are in this region. Data from the Ministry of Health show that at a national level, 45 out of every 100 births are performed by C-section. De Urioste adds that in most hospitals, 80 percent of all child deliveries are C-sections. Sanatorio Durango takes a different approach. “At our hospital, only 20 percent of the childbirths we assist are through caesarean section; 80 percent are natural births.”
Sanatorio Durango opened its doors to the public 75 years ago. Even though the hospital has sought to grow its patient numbers by entering therapeutic areas like cardiology, pediatrics and oncology and has become specialized in areas that include coronary, endoscopy and cardiovascular physiology, its focus remains gynecology and childbirth.
At its start, the sanatorium participated on tenders to provide health services to companies with a large worker base. Over time, conditions in the health sector allowed the hospital to collaborate with private clients through insurers. Sanatorio Durango used to have access to banks, such as Bancomer and Banco del Atlántico, as well as government institutions like the National Lottery. Market conditions changed, however. Today, Sanatorio Durango works with the vast majority of insurers in the country, serves the Metro workforce and is considered the top private hospital in the city for humanized childbirth.
Humanized patient treatment is at the core of Sanatorio Durango’s value proposition, in addition to providing quality service with proper medical infrastructure at affordable prices, De Urioste says. “We try to make the patient feel comfortable and safe at all times with a humanized approach to healthcare and childbirth. We have become a national icon for humanized childbirth and waterbirth.”
The WHO says there are approximately 140 million childbirths per year globally. The moment of birth is a critical time for the survival of women and babies and Sanatorio Durango recognizes there are necessary elements that can guarantee a humanized treatment before, during and after the child is delivered.
“A humanized birth is not defined by the moment the baby is born; it must include creating a healthy and safe environment for both the baby and the mother before and after the delivery,” says De Urioste. “This means giving birth in a clinically and psychologically safe environment that minimizes risk factors at the beginning and during labor.”
Sanatorio Durango’s goal is to decrease the high incidence of deliveries by cesarean section in Mexico through education regarding humanized childbirth. The hospital seeks to promote a positive experience during childbirth and to keep couples informed as a fundamental part of its humanized treatment. “At Sanatorio Durango, childbirth focuses on the humane treatment of women and avoids making women feel or be seen as a complement to childbirth clinical practices,” says De Urioste. “We hope this approach will persuade more women to choose natural labor.”