C-Section & Episiotomy Rates in the North/Northwest Chicago Suburbs

I was curious about the c-section and episiotomy rates for the closest hospitals to me, so I looked them up. These are (as far as I can tell) all of the hospitals within a 20-mile radius of me that have maternity wards. Episiotomy and cesarean section were the two interventions that I most wished to avoid in birthing my son back in September 2013, so I wondered how the hospitals in my area stood on those. [1]

2012 c-section rates come from CesareanRates.com. [2] Episiotomy rates come from the Leapfrog Group; I believe the statistics were last gathered in Fall 2013, but I’m not sure. The Leapfrog Group recommends that hospitals have an episiotomy rate no higher than 12%.

I listed the number of births and NICU level because I imagine the hospitals with more births are larger hospitals with higher level NICUs, and are therefore more likely to see high-risk births. When a hospital was reported as being a level III center, I attempted to call them and ascertain whether or not they were also a IIIC, sometimes known as a level IV.

Hospital # Births Cesarean
NICU Level
1 Adventist GlenOaks
380 34.2% 8.2% II
2 Advocate Condell
Medical Center
2540 34.6% NR II+
3 Advocate Lutheran
General Hospital
4122 35.8% NR IIIC
4 Advocate Sherman
2823 26.9% NR II+
5 Alexian Brothers
Medical Center
2301 35.6% 26.2% II+
6 Centegra Hospital
– McHenry
842 22.1% 6.8% II
7 Elmhurst Memorial
1395 28.2% 5.1% II
8 Evanston Hospital 3357 26% 6.1% IIIC
9 Gottlieb Memorial
732 39.2% 15.1% II
10 Highland Park
1183 31.4% 15.5% II
11 Northwest Community
2997 35.2% 22.8% III
12 Northwestern Lake
Forest Hospital
1590 32.6% 14.0% II+
13 Presence Resurrection
Medical Center
945 34.3% 26.2% II+
14 Presence Saint
Francis Hospital
761 28.9% 7.6% II+
15 St. Alexius
Medical Center
2984 35.9% 34.6% III
16 Swedish Covenant
2079 27.1% 14.6% II
17 VHS Westlake
1012 26.9% 12.0% II
18 Vista Medical
Center East
1045 29.3% 4.1% II


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Categories: Cesarean Section, Episiotomy, Interventions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My Last Birth

So, what was terrible about my pregnancy the last time around?

  • I didn’t have good support. DH was kind of deer-in-the-headlights about the whole thing. My family did not live in the area and my OB* didn’t allow doulas (see the next bullet point).
  • Though I didn’t know it at the time, in retrospect, I wasn’t crazy about my OB. She was polite and professional, but there was never any kind of personal touch to her care. I saw her more than any doctor I had ever seen in my life, yet I couldn’t tell you a single personal thing about her other than that I knew she’d had kids of her own. On top of that, her practice was rather paternalistic and controlling. I was serviced by that clinic with the infamous anti-doula sign in the waiting room. I feel like my OB did not take my questions or concerns seriously. Also, her office staff was rude and they had sloppy accounting practices.
  • The predominant conservative religious culture tended to worship motherhood and restrict women’s roles to the tune of “but pregnancy and childbirth are so awesome! Men need to be priests so that they can have something awesome, too!” This made me feel almost obligated to have a bad experience so that I could say, “Giving birth is not awesome. Your argument is invalid.”
  • The books I had read and the movies I had seen pretty much conditioned me to expect pregnancy and childbirth to be terrible.
  • I wound up with interventions that I did not want. The episiotomy was the worst, and my care providers did not tell me that an episiotomy could cause dyspareunia through psychological triggers even if it heals properly. I struggled with dyspareunia for three years after the birth.

I think that a lot of these factors can either be changed, or I can change my attitude about them. That is what I am working towards in planning pregnancy #2.


* She was actually a family practitioner, but she practiced out of a clinic with two OB-GYNs and delivered babies exclusively. So I guess she was an OB-wannabe?

Categories: Dyspareunia, Episiotomy, Personal | Leave a comment

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