Vaginal birth after cesarean: new insights on maternal and neonatal outcomes.
ABSTRACT To systematically review the evidence about maternal and neonatal outcomes relating to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).
Relevant studies were identified from multiple searches of MEDLINE, DARE, and the Cochrane databases (1980 to September 2009) and from recent systematic reviews, reference lists, reviews, editorials, Web sites, and experts.
Inclusion criteria limited studies to the English-language and human studies conducted in the United States and developed countries specifically evaluating birth after previous cesarean delivery. Studies focusing on high-risk maternal or neonatal conditions, including breech vaginal delivery, or fewer than 10 patients were excluded. Poor-quality studies were not included in analyses.
We identified 3,134 citations and reviewed 963 articles for inclusion; 203 articles met the inclusion criteria and were quality rated. Overall rates of maternal harms were low for both trial of labor and elective repeat cesarean delivery. Although rare in both elective repeat cesarean delivery and trial of labor, maternal mortality was significantly increased for elective repeat cesarean delivery at 0.013% compared with 0.004% for trial of labor. The rates of maternal hysterectomy, hemorrhage, and transfusions did not differ significantly between trial of labor and elective repeat cesarean delivery. The rate of uterine rupture for all women with prior cesarean was 0.30%, and the risk was significantly increased for trial of labor (0.47% compared with 0.03% for elective repeat cesarean delivery). Perinatal mortality was also significantly increased for trial of labor (0.13% compared with 0.05% for elective repeat cesarean delivery).
Overall the best evidence suggests that VBAC is a reasonable choice for the majority of women. Adverse outcomes were rare for both elective repeat cesarean delivery and trial of labor. Definitive studies are lacking to identify patients who are at greatest risk for adverse outcomes.
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A 27-year-old woman was admitted to a hospital in Ethiopia because of severe abdominal pain during labor, with cessation of contractions. She had been in labor at home, pushing for 24 hours. On arrival at the hospital 3 hours later, she was in shock. A procedure was performed.New England Journal of Medicine 11/2012; 367(19):1839-45. DOI:10.1056/NEJMcpc1209508 · 54.42 Impact Factor
Article: In response.Anesthesia and analgesia 04/2014; 118(4):884-5. DOI:10.1213/ANE.0000000000000114 · 3.42 Impact Factor
- [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Women's access to vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) in the United States has declined steadily since the mid-1990s, with a current rate of 8.2%. In the State of Florida, less than 1% of women with a previous cesarean deliver vaginally. This downturn is thought to be largely related to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) VBAC guidelines, which mandate that a physician and anesthesiologist be "immediately available" during a trial of labor. The aim of this exploratory qualitative study was to explore the barriers associated with the ACOG VBAC guidelines, as well as the strategies that obstetricians and midwives use to minimize their legal risks when offering a trial of labor after cesarean. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 11 obstetricians, 12 midwives, and a hospital administrator (n = 24). Interviews were recorded and transcribed verbatim, and thematic analysis informed the findings. Fear of liability was a central reason for obstetricians and midwives to avoid attending VBACs. Providers who continued to offer a trial of labor attempted to minimize their legal risks by being highly selective in choosing potential candidates. Definitions of "immediately available" varied widely among hospitals, and providers in solo or small practices often favored the convenience of a repeat cesarean delivery rather than having to remain in-house during a trial of labor. Midwives were often marginalized due to restrictive hospital policies and by their consulting physicians, even though women with previous cesareans were actively seeking their care. The current ACOG VBAC guidelines limit US obstetricians' and midwives' ability to provide care for women with a previous cesarean, particularly in community and rural hospitals. Although ACOG has proposed that women be allowed to accept "higher levels of risk" in order to be able to attempt a trial of labor in some settings, access to VBAC is unlikely to increase in Florida as long as systemic barriers and liability risks remain high.BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 10/2011; 11:72. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-11-72 · 2.15 Impact Factor