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.