Vaginal Births After C-Sections Reported Safe

KC Kelly Ph.D.'s picture

The number of women who have safe and successful, natural childbirth delivery after having a Caesarean section is growing, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. New guidelines have been set that say that having a vaginal birth with one baby or twin babies is now being considered "safe and appropriate" even after having two Caesarean sections.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported that vaginal births after a woman had previously had a C-section was almost never recommended because of concern over malpractice lawsuits. Although successful vaginal births have lower risks of possible complications and have shorter recovery times after delivery, hospitals were still worried about recommending women have "vaginal birth after C-section" (VBAC). Hospitals made it routine practice to advise women to have a second C-section.

Reuters reported that the reason that previous guidelines advised against VBAC was because of the fear of rupturing the scar that forms on the womb after a C-section is performed. They said that the scar would tear during VBAC, leading to major complications such as massive bleeding. This was too high a threat to the baby's life, and women were widely advised against having VBAC. However, recent research has led to reports that less than one percent of women who have VBAC after a C-section get a ruptured uterine scar. And between sixty and eighty percent of women who elect to have VBAC after C-sections are conducted safely and successfully.

Dr. Richard N. Waldman, president of the gynecology group stated, "Moving forward, we need to work collaboratively with our patients, our colleagues, hospitals and insurers to swing the pendulum back to fewer Caesareans and a more reasonable VBAC rate." After having a C-section, ninety percent of women make the decision to have another C-section for their next child, while only nine percent of women decide to go the natural route with VBAC.

Dr. William A. Grobman of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and co-author of the guidelines, stated that the, "best method is women getting information about the risks and benefits and working with providers to make sure they can have the approach to delivery that they want." Dr. Grobman made a point to voice that "shared decision-making" between women and their doctors is very important.

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