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Repeat C-Sections Riskier for Mothers, According to New Research

Since the 1970's, the number of C-Sections in every 100 births has catapulted from a mere five to 31. Understandably, there has been quite a bit of debate surrounding the increasingly large amount of these surgeries being performed in the United States. Some defend it as a viable solution for preventing birth injuries stemming from complicated deliveries. Others worry about the harm done to the mother, who will take longer to recovery and faces a higher potential for complications during future pregnancies.

If a woman has already had a C-section, it is likely that the doctor will encourage her to deliver via surgery in the future, or she may simply choose to. The alternative, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean), used to be fairly common. According to a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, as C-sections have increased, overall, the number of women attempting to deliver vaginally following a C-section has decreased.

Part of this decrease in VBAC is due to a fear of uterine rupture, though new research by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists shows that the risk is much lower than previously thought and that, overall, VBAC is likely much safer than consecutive C-sections.

The benefits of attempting a VBAC are:

  • lower risk of excessive bleeding and infection
  • shorter recovery time
  • less pain for the mother
  • lower risk of complication in future pregnancies

Make no mistake, C-sections serve an important purpose and, sometimes, they are the only option to save the child and prevent severe birth injuries. Still, the research by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is very worth considering and, if your doctor does not bring it up, you might want to.

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