New study reveals having a C-section may be safer than most women think

Posted on 16 March 2012

The choice of how they will deliver their child is never an easy one for expecting moms, especially those who may face medical complications. It certainly requires spending more time than choosing what newborn baby clothes they'll dress their little bundle of joy in before leaving the hospital.

But, a recent study conducted in Australia has shed light on the complicated topic of whether giving birth vaginally or via Cesarean is safer for certain moms. Researchers in the country followed 2,323 pregnant women who gave birth at 14 hospitals over five years. All the women in the study had previously had a child by C-section and were 37 weeks into their pregnancies.

When it came time to deliver, slightly over half of the women elected to give birth vaginally, while the others chose to have a C-section. However, only 43 percent of the women who planned to give birth vaginally succeeded. Ninety-eight percent of expecting moms who elected a C-section successfully gave birth this way.


Prior to this study, doctors recommended that women who had previously had a C-section have this procedure again because they were deemed to be at a higher risk for a ruptured uterus, which could potentially cause neurological complications for the baby or result in a hysterectomy for the mother.

The recent study in Australia has supported these findings, saying that of the women who elected to have a C-section, 0.9 percent died or had serious complications compared with the 2.4 percent of the study participants who suffered these issues after choosing to deliver vaginally.

Furthermore, 2.3 percent of the women in the study who gave birth vaginally experienced severe bleeding, while only 0.8 percent of those who had a C-section did.

All doctors note that couples should carefully consider what birth method is best and most importantly, safest for the mother and her child. Research and information from a couple's OBGYN will ensure that the final decision has been cautiously thought out.

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