A team of more than 100 U.S. doctors and nurses are bringing their project to a hospital in Bao’an District to correct the unnecessarily high cesarean delivery rate.
At a three-day seminar in Shenzhen on “No Pain Labor & Delivery,” a global health initiative launched in 2008 by the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University, Hu Lingqun, the initiator of the project and a professor at Northwestern University, made a keynote speech.
“I was struck by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services statistic that more than 60 percent of pregnant women in the United States having a vaginal delivery received an epidural in 2008 while that number was less than 1 percent in China,” said Hu.
An epidural is a process that involves administering medicine into the spinal area to reduce pain.
Painful labor often leads to higher morbidity and mortality rates, said Hu, a native of Hangzhou.
Hu said he was also troubled by China’s high rate of cesarean section births — close to 50 percent — a result of the mistaken belief that C-sections offer better outcomes for the mother and child.
Through No Pain Labor & Delivery, Hu wants to educate physicians and pregnant women about safe and effective ways to minimize pain during childbirth. He also aims to establish more than 10 training centers in China to teach safe and effective pain reduction methods. Through this program, he hopes to increase the epidural analgesia rate of the country to more than 10 percent by the end of 2018, targeting a population of 1.5 million pregnant women per year.