The film version of the popular pregnancy bible What to Expect When You're Expecting may be highly anticipated, but it is a newly released report from Consumers Union that is a "must-see" for expectant parents. What to Reject When You're Expecting: 10 Procedures to Think Twice About During Your Pregnancy will encourage pregnant women everywhere to rethink those birth plans.

10 Pregnancy Procedures to Think Twice About

According to the report, there are a number of medical interventions that are overused during pregnancy and childbirth, often to the detriment of mothers and babies. The following 10 procedures are included on the list:

  1. A c-section with a low-risk first birth
  2. An automatic second c-section
  3. An elective early delivery
  4. Inducing labor without a medical reason
  5. An ultrasound after 24 weeks (unless your provider is tracking a specific condition)
  6. Continuous electronic fetal monitoring
  7. Early epidurals
  8. Routine rupturing of amniotic membranes
  9. Routine episiotomies
  10. Sending your baby to the nursery

Saving the Lives of Mothers and Babies

In certain situations, medical interventions are absolutely necessary to save lives. But the report from Consumers Union suggests that it is profit — and not medical necessity — that often drives the unnecessary use of these interventions.

"[A] key reason appears to be a health-care system that has developed into a highly profitable labor-and-delivery machine, operating according to its own timetable rather than the less predictable schedule of mothers and babies ... Keeping things chugging along are technological interventions that can be lifesaving in some situations but also interfere with healthy, natural processes and increase risk when used inappropriately."

Our U.S. healthcare system outspends other nations, yet we still rank behind 41 other countries when it comes to preventing mothers from dying in childbirth. So while pregnant women may get a few laughs from the What to Expect movie, what they truly need is to educate themselves about what to expect (and reject) when giving birth.

Their lives — and the lives of their unborn children — depend on it.