Congrats on your pregnancy :). Hospitals in general have a higher c-section rate in the US vs. other parts of the world similar to us. If you are worried about c-section, I would recommend doing some research on the effects of getting an epidural and pitocin, which pretty much all hospitals do since many women want an epidural. For some great info, check out www.cafemom.com and find the Natural Pregnancy and Childbirth group. They have a great thread with many resources to read. Also, if you haven't seen it already, watch the movie "The Business of Being Born". It has Riki Lake in there and talks about c-sections.
The best way to avoid a c-section is to deliver naturally, no unnecessary medications or interventions. I'm all about if you NEED it, then have it to protect Mom and Baby. But all of the things that hospitals do that are not necessary increase your rate of c-section. It's never too late to look into delivering at a birthing center.
I did and it was the BEST experiance I could imagine. My midwife (licensed) patiently listened to every question I had and answered them until I was satisfied. It was such a warm experiance...I went home 6 hours after delivery and slept in my own bed with my daughter with me. Birthing centers take insurance too if that is a concern.
I'm pretty passionate about this because had I been in a hosptial, it would have been a c-section. The midwives were worried about me tiring out (after over 30 hours of labor) and from what I can hear Dr's don't usually like to wait that long. But baby was fine, and I was NOT ready to give up and I had her naturally! Feel free to message me with any questions. The more you educate yourself about this the more painless it will be since you won't be stressing your body.
You can have an intervention free birth at Winnie Palmer, but your OB and nurse must agree with your birth plan. You also may want a Doula there with you to help "stick up" for you when it's hard to talk :). GL :)