The research is clear: Vaginal birth after c-section is safer and better

Highlighting something that we all already knew, the research is finally starting to come down in our favor on this issue of vaginal births after c-section (VBAC). Despite the frightening number of hospitals entirely banning VBACs, and an alarming number of providers refusing to do them, the research is showing that VBACs are the safer, better option for most moms and babies.

From the LA Times:

The first paper summarizes the findings of a government consensus conference that took place in March at the National Institutes of Health. Researchers concluded that vaginal birth after cesarean is “a reasonable choice for the majority of women.” The paper is based on a large database of births and finds that although both elective repeat cesarean section and VBAC are highly safe, maternal death was higher for elective repeat Cesarean sections (0.013% versus 0.004% for a trial of labor). The rates of hysterectomy, hemorrhage and transfusions did not differ between the two groups. Uterine rupture — the complication that is usually given for discouraging VBACs — was rare but higher in the trial of labor group (0.47% compared with 0.03% in the repeat C-section group). Infant death was higher in the trial of labor group (0.13% compared with 0.05% in the repeat C-section group).

How long do we think it will take medical practice to catch up to the research?

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