Repeat Cesareans vs. VBAC

In Time Magazine, there was an article written by Pamela Paul titled ‘The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans’, which you can view here.

The writer had to drive 100 miles for a VBAC friendly hospital, when she was having her second baby. It was amazing that she did that!

90% of second pregnancies are repeats instead of VBACs. There is still kind of a stigma of “once a cesarean, always a cesarean.

ICAN polled 2850 hospitals, and the results were:
– 28% of hospitals won’t do VBAC.
-21% of hospitals have de facto bans: They are ok with VBACs, but no doctors in the hospital will perform htem.
That is 1% less than half the hospitals in the country. Those odds really suck.

And the strange thing is, with a VBAC, you heal faster, and it cost way less! I can understand why hospitals don’t want them, because they don’t make as much money, but why wouldn’t people paying for insurance and such not want to have to pay less?

The risk of uterine rupture is real, but it is now just 0.7% in natural spontaneous labor, that is not augmented and the mother is able to move around. That is absolutely nothing!! And, you can think of it more as you have a 99.3% of NOT rupturing. I like that number a lot better.

In 1996, 28% of second pregnancies were VBACs. The gov’t proposed a target of 37% by 2010. In 2006, the VBAC rate was 8%. Kind of going the WAY opposite direction, in my opinion. And this is even though 73% of women could have a successful VBAC.

In the 1990s, they would augment VBACs with cytotec (generic of misoprostol), which caused hundred of ruptures, and lots of dead babies, so hospitals changed their stance on VBACs, even after the drugs were found to cause the problems and the use of them was stopped. Doesn’t make sense to me, but I guess if you’re in the business to make money…

Dr. Shelley Binkley, who stopped offering VBAC in 2003, says, “It’s a number’s thing. You don’t get sued for doing a c-section. You get sued for not doing a c-section.”

How sad is that people don’t sue their doctor for doing unnecessary surgery, but sue them if forceps have to be used in labor?

With each repeat cesarean, the risk of heavy bleeding, infection, and infertility goes up. The risk of life threatening placental abnormalities that cause hemorrhaging during childbirth also goes up.

In 2005, 57% of c-section veterans who gave birth wanted a VBAC, but were denied. How can someone deny a ‘treatment’ option to someone and replace it with a more risky procedure?

The Zelop of the ACOG states, “When the problems with multiple c-sections start to mount, we’re going to look back and say, ‘Oh, does anyone still know how to do a VBAC?'”

It is so true. With a little less than half of the hospitals in our country not doing VBAC, and medical schools not teaching it anymore, what will happen when more problems occur because of them and no one knows how to fix it?

I found a website that stated all the risks of repeat cesareans. I was going to write them all down here, but the list is long, so I figured I would just post the link.

The website is, but the specific link is here. If you are thinking about a repeat cesarean or a vbac, I would look up all the information you can.

Women die from repeat cesareans. Rarely, if ever do women die from a VBAC. Make sure you get your facts before making a giant choice, especially one that could impact your life and your unborn babies life.

If you would like more facts on VBAC, or just support in your decision, please go here. It’s ICAN, a group for women who want VBACs, who have had VBACs and women who just would like to learn their options.


One Response

  1. I love the article! I really hope more women have the chance for a VBAC. It’s an incredible accomplishment. My mom had a 10 pound baby born VBAC. If she can deliver a huge baby VBAC, I don’t see why other’s couldn’t deliver theirs. (Of coarse there are medical reasons for some woman that prevent a VBAC and that’s perfectly ok)

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