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Women's Health

Obstetrical Statistics

The following information is provided to help you become more informed about childbirth at South Shore Hospital. This information complies with state law, which requires hospitals to make obstetrical information available to the public.

The numbers by themselves cannot be used to say one hospital is doing a better job than another. If a hospital has less than 500 births a year, just a few births can change the numbers drastically. If a hospital has more high-risk births (those with complications), it may have higher rates of many of the interventions listed.

The figures also do not tell you about your own doctor’s practices. We urge you to discuss all aspects of your care with your own physicians. You can ask them if their own practices are similar or different. In this way you can use this information to talk over your choices and wishes for your child’s birth. We also encourage you to take childbirth preparation classes and to read books about childbirth to learn more about your options regarding the birth of your child. Our goal is to meet your individual needs during your birth experience.

Statistics and Definitions

There were 3,499 deliveries at South Shore Hospital from January 2014 to December 2014.


Cesarean births:  percentage of all births that were by Cesarean section.  A Cesarean section is a surgical operation wherein the doctor takes the baby out through an incision in the mother’s abdomen . 


Primary Cesarean births: the mother’s first Cesarean, regardless of whether she has given birth vaginally before.


Repeat Cesarean births: a Cesarean when the mother has had one or more Cesarean births before.


Vaginal birth after Cesarean: percentage of cases with a prior uterine scar, that delivered vaginally. 


Labors which were externally monitored:  an external monitor is a machine that measures baby’s heart rate and contractions by two belts that are fastened around the mother's abdomen.  The heart rate, which can be a sign of the baby’s well being, may also be checked by listening through the mother’s abdomen.  


Annual percentage of deliveries which were both internally and externally monitored.


Annual percentage of deliveries by certified nurse-midwives.


Labors which were induced:  inductions occur when labor is started by artificial means rather than beginning naturally.  Usually, a drug called Pitocin is given through an intravenous line in the mother’s arm.  The membranes (bag of water) may also be broken. 


Women who receive epidural anesthesia: when a drug is injected into the mother’s back so she will not feel pain below her breasts or waist, yet she is still awake. It is used in active labor, and for Cesarean births.


Women who receive general anesthesia: when the mother is put to sleep for the birth. It is necessary for very rare, severe emergencies.


Percentage of women breastfeeding on discharge: the percentage of all mothers who are breastfeeding when they go home from the hospital. Breastfeeding, even for a short period, has many health benefits for babies.

Annual percentage of deliveries utilizing:


Intravenous access and fluids


Spinal anesthesia


Augmentation of labor






Vacuum Assist

If you have any questions about South Shore Hospital's obstetrical services, please call (781) 624-4203.


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