Doctors Warn Against Repeat C-Sections

TOWSON, Md. (WJZ) — For women about to go into labor on this Labor Day, some doctors want to remind moms about the benefits of vaginal births over C-sections.

Andrea Fujii explains why some experts say they may be safer.

They are healthy sisters born in different ways.  Four-year-old Emerson was delivered by emergency C-section, while 1-year-old Penelope was delivered through vaginal birth at St. Joseph Medical Center.

“I definitely wanted a chance at giving birth to my second baby,” said Elizabeth Smith, mother.

Many doctors applaud that idea.

“You don’t have to have a second C-section if you’ve had one C-section,” said Dr. Judith Rossiter, St. Joseph OBGYN.

A recent study found one in three Maryland women choose C-sections, and more are opting for them again with their second child.  But doctors warn against that.

“The risk of infection, blood loss, the need for a blood transfusion, the need for a hysterectomy,” said Rossiter.

After having 1-month-old Devyn vaginally, Carol Parreco says a shorter recovery time was just one benefit of a vaginal birth, compared to her C-section with 2-year-old Olivia.

“The best part for me is when she was delivered, I held her. She came straight to me,” said Parreco.

The average cost of a vaginal birth is about $2,000 less than a C-section.

Sometimes Cesarian births are necessary, but some doctors and mothers say if there’s a choice, opt for a vaginal birth for the physical and emotional benefits.

“It was beautiful. It really was. Just to be able to feel everything and be awake,” said Smith.

Doctors also say there’s a much smaller risk of a prior C-section scar re-opening with a vaginal birth compared to a second Cesarian.

The study was conducted by the National Institutes of Health.

  • VBAC mom

    Why is this piece being framed as women “choosing cesareans” instead of doctor’s “giving” cesareans to women? Since any scheduled cesarean is coded as “elective” (whereas non-scheduled ones are coded “emergency”), there simply isn’t any data available that shows how many women truly “elect” their cesareans and the numbers are thought to be less than 1% of the national total. There were 67 VBACs at St. Joe’s in 2010 compared to 284 repeat cesreans (see I’m hoping that the doctor quoted from there is doing everything possible to turn those numbers around.

  • VBAC Hopeful

    Perhaps the study should include the reason for disappointment in moms who planned vaginal births and ended in c-section. I had an unplanned c-section that wasn’t an emergency, but I did agree to it without really being informed of the risks of the surgery and the “consequences”. I didn’t even realize there was any controversy over having vaginal births later and didn’t know anything about “VBAC” until after I had a miscarriage a year after my first child was born. Lets not confuse the results of this study with women (generalized) as gaining more fulfilment from the outcome of RCS.

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