UPDATE 12:35 P.M.: The panel's draft report is out, and they're recommending that pregnant women and their providers use "evidence-based decision-making" when determining whether a VBAC is safe and appropriate. MedPage Today has more. It will be interesting to see if this report, once finalized, affects c-section rates.
VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean, is a hot topic among pregnant women and the doctors who care for them. In the simplest of terms, women who deliver by cesarean sometimes request (or at least want the option) to deliver a subsequent child vaginally, while some clinicians believe repeat c-sections are the safer choice for mom and baby. (You may have heard the phrase, "Once a cesarean, always a cesarean.") An NIH panel determined in 1980 that VBAC could be considered in some cases, and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists calls VBAC "a safe option for many women," yet rates of this type of delivery have been declining since 1996.
This week, the NIH again gathered a group of experts to discuss the issues, and the panel is preparing a consensus statement based on the talks. A press briefing is being held later this morning, and I know many women are anxiously awaiting the verdict. Stay tuned...