While more and more women choose to undergo Cesarean section births despite a national push by the federal government to decrease the number, the local rate has declined and is well below the state average.
North Adams Regional Hospital performs significantly fewer c-sections than other hospitals around the state — an average of 18 percent of all births at the hospital compared to the state average of 34 percent, according to reports released by the state Department of Public Health.
The hospital also has a better prenatal care record, according to the reports: 94 percent of women giving birth have had nine or more prenatal care visits versus the state average of 87 percent having that many visits.
“I think what is being reflected in our numbers is that we are taking a more ‘midwifery’ approach with our practice then before,” Robin Rivinus, a certified nurse midwife with Northern Berkshire Obstetrics & Gynecology at the hospital, said last week. “It means that we do fewer unnecessary interventions — inductions, Cesarean sections, episiotomies. We treat childbirth as the normal, natural thing that it is. We only step in when it’s medically necessary, which is much better for both the mother and the baby.”