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Cesarean Awareness Month in Arkansas

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TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS COME -- GREETINGS:

WHEREAS: This year, more than one-third of all babies born in Arkansas will be born via Cesarean section, a serious abdominal surgery, but one that can be lifesaving for both mother and baby in medically appropriate circumstances; and

WHEREAS: The national and state Cesarean-section rates remain higher than the 15-percent average recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), which estimates that half of all Cesarean sections performed in the United States may be unnecessary. Unnecessary Cesareans can be avoided if childbearing families are properly educated about their choices in managing labor and delivery; and

WHEREAS: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy People 2010 has set a goal to reduce the Cesarean rate to eighteen percent among low-risk, first-time mothers and seventy-two percent for women with prior C-sections; and

WHEREAS: Women who undergo Cesarean births have a longer recovery time and are subject to increased complications, including difficulties in their future reproductive lives with increased rates of unexplained stillbirth, placental abnormalities, and uterine rupture; and

WHEREAS: Maternal-child health is improved by preventing unnecessary C-sections through education, providing support for Cesarean recoveries, including physical and emotional support, and promoting normal birth after Cesarean births; and

WHEREAS: Arkansas women have the right to full and complete information about the risks and benefits of natural and Cesarean births and the corresponding right to make informed choices about their health care;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, MIKE BEEBE, Governor of the State of Arkansas, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the laws of the State of Arkansas, do hereby proclaim April 2011, as

CESAREAN AWARENESS MONTH IN ARKANSAS

across the State, and I urge my fellow citizens to join together in raising awareness of the risks and benefits of Cesarean births and to support educational programs for health professionals, patients, and the public.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Arkansas to be affixed this 24th day of March, in the year of our Lord 2011.