Today in the U.S., most states hover close to a 30% average c-section rate. (See stats at ICAN - International Cesarean Awareness Network, Inc.) It's astounding to me -- this means 1 in 3 babies is born cesarean!
Now there is a new two-year study being published in The Journal of Perinatal Education that has found there are health risks to the baby and mother from unnecessary medical interventions, like inductions.
If you are pregnant, I urge you to read Maternity Care Analysis Finds Danger of Routine Birth Interventions. Knowledge is really is power. While special circumstances can happen that require intervention, moms and their babies are BUILT to give birth. If you are low-risk, ask questions, lots of them, until you feel satisfied that there is a true medical emergency that requires an intervention. I think what many people do not anticipate is the snowball effect -- one intervention causes other issues that leads to another intervention and so forth.
I hope there will be a reverse of the pendulum swing in this country back towards natural birth. But I also doubt it will happen from within the medical institution itself.
Moms and dads, the revolution starts with you! Take charge of your birth plan and your medical experiences. If you are with a practitioner who has the attitude "it's MY way, or the highway", then remember--they are your paid consultant, and YOU are the customer. (Yes, I know it can seem hard to do this, but medicine in this country is a business, afterall.) Try to establish respectful, open communication, but if it fails, then take your business (and your baby) elsewhere. Yours and your baby's wellness may depend on it.