Date of Defense





The cesarean section, delivery of the fetus by incision through the abdominal and uterine wall (Leavitt, 1986:272), is a fascinating procedure indeed. Once a heroic gesture done to save the unborn infant from its dying mother, the cesarean section has become a common medical procedure. Between 1968 and 1977, the cesarean section rates in the United States have tripled, reaching 15.2 percent in 1978 and making the cesarean the tenth most common surgical procedure in the United States (Gleicher, 198^:3273). The cesarean rate has continued to rise from 16.5 percent of deliveries in 1980 (Placek, 1983) to 22.7 percent in 1985 (Placek and Taffel, 1987). This upward trend in cesarean delivery is evident in all types of medical facilities, in all regions of the country, and among women of all educational and income levels (Guillemin, 1981:15).

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only