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Health & Pregnancy

This article is from the WebMD News Archive

Are Repeat C-Sections Safer Than Natural Birth?

2 Stillbirths in Planned VBAC Group continued...

The rate of fetal or infant death or serious health issues prior to hospital discharge was 2.4% in the planned VBAC group, compared to 0.9% in the planned C-section group.

The researchers concluded that while the actual risk for both forms of delivery was quite small, elective repeat C-sections were associated with significantly lower risk for both mother and baby.

Uterine Rupture Linked to Repeat C-Section

In a related study, researchers in the U.K. found that repeat C-sections raised the risk for uterine rupture, a rare but very serious pregnancy complication.

Risk was highest among women who had two or more prior C-sections and those who had repeat C-sections less than 12 months after the last C-section.

Of the 159 uterine ruptures identified in the study, 139 occurred among women who had previously had a C-section.

Both studies appear in the March issue of the journal PLoS Medicine.

Ob-gyn professor F. Gary Cunningham, MD, says while the risks are small, no method of childbirth is risk-free. Cunningham is a distinguished chair in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

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