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Study: Repeat C-section Often Safer Than Vaginal Birth

A new research conducted by medical professionals in Scotland has found that planned Caesarean delivery (C-section) can be the safest option for women who have had a Caesarean in the past.

The study discovered that the C-section method of child birth is often safer than that of vaginal for women who have undergone the Caesarean delivery in the past.

C-section is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through a cut in the abdomen and womb while vaginal birth is the more natural procedure for childbirth.

The study, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, compared the risks of a repeat Caesarean with vaginal delivery and found that attempting a vaginal birth was linked with a small but increased chance of complications.

After studying the data of 74,000 births in Scotland, the researchers from the University of Oxford and the University of Aberdeen found that 45,579 women gave birth by planned Caesarean and 28,464 attempted a vaginal birth. The study said 28.4 percent of those who attempted a vaginal birth went on to have an emergency Caesarean.

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It added that 1.8 percent of those who attempted vaginal birth and 0.8 percent of those who had a planned Caesarean experienced serious maternal complications such as womb rupture, bleeding or infection.

Complications for the baby occurred in 8 percent of the pregnancies with an attempted vaginal birth and 6.4 percent with planned Caesareans.

Attempting vaginal birth was associated with an increased risk of the mother having serious birth and post-birth related problems compared with electing for another Caesarean section.

Pat O’Brien, a consultant obstetrician at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, said the study provides useful data to inform women and clinicians when making decisions around birthing plans.

“Women can be assured that, in most cases, it is possible and safe to have a vaginal birth or a planned repeat Caesarean birth, after a previous Caesarean birth,” he said.

“A detailed conversation with a woman and her senior obstetrician should take place so she can make an informed choice about the safest way she can plan to give birth and be supported by a team of specialists.”

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