Lowering the Cesarean Rate with Dr. Neel Shah

Lowering the Cesarean Rate with Dr. Neel Shah

If you knew there was a way to successfully lower cesarean rates and create a family-centered birth, would you be interested in learning more about it?

In this episode of Yoga|Birth|Babies, I speak with Dr. Neel Shah. Dr. Shah is an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School. He is part of the team that created The Team Birth Project. The goal of this initiative to decrease C-sections and improve birth outcomes. 

Dr. Shah explains the importance of communication and the team effort needed to fully support the birthing person. Something as simple as a whiteboard could change the whole approach to respecting and honoring birth plans and the flexibility needed when pivoting original intentions. 

In this episode:

  • Learn about Dr. Shah and his work. 
  • What is Team Birth Project?
  • The outcomes from the Team Birth Project approach.
  • How the Team Birth Project approach differs from what is more commonly seen in Labor and Delivery units. 
  • How a pregnant person can approach their care provider about working more in this manner.
  • Scaling Team Birth Project to more hospitals beyond the 3 trial hospitals. 
  • Why it is important to lower cesarean rates in our country?
  • The risks associated with cesarean births? 
  • What would constitute an unnecessary cesarean? 
  •  Family-centered births and cesareans 
  • One tip or piece of advice Dr. Shah offers new or expectant parents
  • Where you can find Dr. Shah’s work. 

About Dr. Shah:

Dr. Neel Shah, MD, MPP, FACOG, is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Biology at Harvard Medical School, and Director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Harvard’s Ariadne Labs. As an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Shah cares for patients at critical life moments that range from childbirth to primary care to surgery. As a scientist and social entrepreneur, he is a globally recognized expert in designing solutions that improve health care.

Dr. Shah is listed among the “40 smartest people in health care” by the Becker’s Hospital Review, and has been profiled by the New York TimesCNN, and other outlets. He is written more than 50 peer-reviewed academic papers and contributed to four books, including as senior author of Understanding Value-Based Healthcare (McGraw-Hill), which Don Berwick has called “an instant classic” and Atul Gawande called “a masterful primer for all clinicians.”

Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Shah founded Costs of Care, an NGO that curates insights from clinicians and patients to help delivery systems provide better care. In 2017, he co-founded the March for Moms Association, a coalition of more than 20 leading organizations, to increase public and private investment in the wellbeing of mothers. Dr. Shah currently serves on national advisory boards of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Office of Women’s Health Research at the National Institutes of Health.

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