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Maternity Statistics

To give you as much information as possible about the Birthing Center at Baystate Medical Center, we have compiled data to help you understand what to expect, learn more about your choices, and plan for your baby’s birth.  


4,080 total deliveries,* 4,189 babies, for period January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014.

30% Cesarean Deliveries: The percentage of all births that were by Cesarean section. A Cesarean section is when the doctor delivers the baby through the mother’s abdomen by a surgical operation.

17% Primary Cesarean Delivery: The mother’s first Cesarean, regardless of whether she has given birth vaginally before.

14% Repeat Cesarean Delivery: A Cesarean section when the mother has had one or more Cesarean births before.

1.5% Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery (VBAC): This is when a woman has had a Cesarean delivery before but births this baby vaginally.

This percentage reflects the number of women who labored and delivered vaginally. According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, this is a safe alternative.

70% Deliveries in Birthing Rooms (LDRP): The percentage of all deliveries that took place in the same room where the mother labored, rather than moving her to a separate delivery or operating room.

19% Deliveries by Certified Nurse-Midwives: A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is a nurse who has advanced education in Midwifery and provides obstetrical and gynecological services for women.

86% Labors that were continuously externally monitored: An external monitor is a machine that measures the baby’s heart rate and the contractions of the mother’s uterus by two belts fastened around the mother’s abdomen. The baby’s heart rate, which can be a sign of the baby’s well-being, also may be checked by listening through the mother’s abdomen with a hand held ultra sound monitor.

10% Labors that were continuously internally monitored: An internal monitor is the same as the external monitor, except the baby’s heart rate is measured by a wire passed through the vagina (birth canal) and fastened under the skin of the baby’s scalp. Usually the external belt still will be used to measure contractions.

8% Labors that were monitored both internally and externally.

14% Labors that were induced: Induction is when labor is started by artificial means rather than waiting for it to begin on its own. Usually a drug called Pitocin is given through an intravenous line (IV) in the mother’s arm. The membranes (bag of waters) also may be broken to start labor.

22% Labors that were augmented: This is when labor contractions are helped along by an artificial means, usually with a drug called Pitocin. This is usually done because the contractions the mother is having are not strong enough or regular enough to dilate the cervix and cause the labor to progress.

<1% Deliveries assisted by forceps: This is when a specially designed surgical instrument is used to guide the baby’s head through the birth canal during the actual birth process.

<1% Births assisted by a vacuum suction cup.

2% Women receiving episiotomies: An episiotomy is a small incision made in the perineum before the baby is born. This is done to prevent the mother’s vaginal tissue from tearing during the birth process.

58% Women who received epidural anesthesia: A tiny, soft tube is inserted into the lower back and placed into the epidural space which is located before the spinal cord. Medication is given and the contractions should not feel painful. You are awake and can see the birth of your baby. Can be used in active labor, delivery and for Cesarean delivery.

2% Women who received general anesthesia: This is when the mother is put to sleep for the birth. It is necessary for very rare, severe emergencies.

21% Women receiving spinal anesthesia: This is when a drug is injected into the spinal canal in the lower back so the mother will not feel any pain below her breasts or waist. With a vaginal delivery the mother is awake but may not be able to push the baby out without using forceps or a vacuum suction cup. Spinal anesthesia is used more often for a Cesarean delivery.

80% Women breastfeeding on discharge: This refers to the percentage of all mothers who are breastfeeding when they go home from the hospital. Breastfeeding, even for a short period, has many health benefits for babies.

46% Male babies who were circumcised: Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis.

101 sets of Twins, 4 sets of Triplets*

 *For this report, a twin or multiple birth is counted as one delivery