Consumer Reports: Are all C-sections necessary?

May 10, 2012 7:02:28 AM PDT
When it comes to major surgery in the United States, the most common is Cesarean sections on pregnant women. But Consumer Reports says all too often, C-sections are not necessary.

There's a support group for women who believe they've had unnecessary Cesarean sections.

"I am still so angry about how she came into this world," mom Rachel Beninati said.

"My frustration with my two Cesareans, it was just too much," said mother Margaret Yawman.

The number of Cesareans is on the rise. Nearly one in every three babies in the U.S. is born via C-section.

"There are some situations in which performing a C-section is to be preferred, but that's major surgery," Consumer Reports' Dr. Marvin Lipman said. "In most cases, the safest way, for mother and baby, is to deliver vaginally."

If a woman's first birth is a C-section, there's about a 90 percent chance subsequent births will also be C-sections.

"That doesn't have to happen," Dr. Lipman said. "Many women who've had a C-section, especially with a low-transverse incision, are able to have a vaginal birth after a C-section. That's known as a V-BAC."

But a woman seeking a V-BAC delivery can have trouble finding a doctor willing to try one.

"Some doctors don't have the necessary support from their hospital or their malpractice insurance won't cover the procedure," Dr. Lipman said. "If your doctor is willing to try a V-BAC, make sure that he or she has all the necessary information from a previous C-section."

Almost all of the women were able to deliver their second child without having a C-section.

"It was the best experience in my life, the best experience," mom Bruna Maltoni said.

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