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The Risks of Natural Birth Following Previous C-Sections

There are serious risks, both to the mother and her baby, when having a “natural birth” after having delivered an earlier child by c-section. The procedure, known as vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC, for short), has been shown to cause serious injuries. For instance, there is a risk of the mother suffering a uterine rupture, which can be fatal to both her and her baby. There is also a chance that the VBAC will cause the baby to suffer oxygen deprivation (or birth hypoxia), leading to brain damage and cerebral palsy. These risks are compounded by doctors’ errors such as hesitation to perform the delivery or delaying a c-section. Recognizing that the decision to proceed with a VBAC may cause these birth injuries, and potentially be grounds for pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, many doctors are now refusing to perform them, opting instead for another c-section delivery.

Read more about the risks of VBACS, and the difficulties of finding doctors willing to perform them, in an article by Time Magazine.