Panel: Women need chance to avoid repeat C-section

March 10, 2010 2:03:59 PM PST
A government panel says too many women who want to avoid a second Cesarean-section for child birth are being denied the chance.

About 15 years ago, nearly 30 percent of women who'd had one C-section were delivering their next baby vaginally, a trend called VBAC (VEE-back) for "vaginal birth after cesarean."

But specialists convened by the National Institutes of Health report Wednesday that the VBAC rate has dropped to 10 percent, in part because of litigation-spurred hospital and doctor policies that in some places prohibit women from trying.

The panel says VBAC is a safe alternative for many women, and urges doctors to give low-risk patients unbiased information to weigh the pros and cons for themselves.