Tracy was pregnant with her third child and had given birth to the previous
For women who delivered their first baby by cesarean section, delivering a second baby also by C-section may be somewhat safer for both mother and baby than a vaginal birth, a new study reveals.
Australian researchers found that, among babies born by a planned repeat C-section, 0.9 percent died or had serious complications, compared with 2.4 percent of babies born by a planned vaginal birth after a previous C-section.
And 0.8 percent of mothers who had a repeat C-section experienced severe bleeding, while 2.3 percent of those who gave birth vaginally after a previous C-section did.
"The risks for women and their babies are small," but there were significant differences between the groups, said study author Dr. Caroline Crowther, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies in Adelaide.
The study is published March 13 in the journal PLoS Medicine.
Changing views on cesareans
For a long time, it was believed that women who had a cesarean delivery would need C-sections for all future pregnancies. The most feared complication of delivering vaginally after a C-section is a rupture of the uterus during labor, which can result in a hysterectomy for a mother or neurological complications for a baby. But uterine ruptures are uncommon.
In 2010, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) asked a panel of experts to review the scientific evidence on the matter, because some U.S. hospitals had banned vaginal births after the mother had a cesarean, and many doctors were advising against them.