Public advocate believes BX, city hospitals should cut down c-section births

A new report Wednesday by the city?s public advocate calls for Bronx and city hospitals to cut down on the number c-section births.

Betsy Gotbaum calls the number of cesarean, or c-section, births performed in the city alarming. She says more than a quarter of all births in 2003 were by c-section, which is above the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control.

Gotbaum says c-section births should only be performed when natural childbirth would put the health of the mother and baby at risk. She believes hospitals perform cesareans to earn profits.

Hospital officials say c-sections are necessary to protect mothers. They add the city has a higher than normal c-section rate because many births are considered high risk. A City Health and Hospital Corporation spokeswoman says the average c-section rate at city-run hospitals is below the state and city rates.

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