VBAC was no riskier for babies than planned cesarean.
By contrast, according to a Swiss study of 29,000 women with prior cesareans, women having planned cesareans for a subsequent birth were three times as likely to have hysterectomies as women planning VBACs: 1 in 220 versus 1 in 625. In addition, every time a woman elects a cesarean over a VBAC, she rolls dice that are loaded more and more heavily against her, especially if she desires more children.
Learn 6 risks of repeat cesareans and 3 conclusions the NEJM study really comes to
If obstetric intervention isn't about safety, then what the heck is it about?
Learn more about the biases against VBAC
Studies show that accumulating cesareans increase the risk of:
- chronic pain and bowel problems
- the embryo implanting outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy)
- the placenta overlaying the cervix (placenta previa)
- the placenta detaching before the birth (placental abruption)
- the placenta growing into or through the muscular wall of the uterus (placenta accreta or percreta).
The last three are life-threatening; placenta accreta particularly so. Planned repeat cesarean also puts babies at risk for breathing difficulties. One problem, persistent pulmonary hypertension, can be deadly.
Objective readers of the New England Journal study would conclude neither that VBAC was unduly risky nor even that VBAC women should never be induced.