New Study Shows Ways to Increase VBAC Success

For women who want to avoid another surgery, VBAC is a healing thing. Photo by Chris Gander

A recent article published by Journal of Advanced Nursing reviewed 700,000 attempted VBAC births and identified several factors that impacted the success rates. VBACs are Vaginal Births After Cesarean and are, for many women, a very healing and empowering thing.

About 1 out of 4 VBACs are not successful however, and this study helps highlight factors that may increase the likelihood of a repeat surgery being necessary. In the article published by Science Daily, Christine Catling-Paull, lead author on the study is quoted as saying,

“Research shows that only 33 per cent of women in the UK will have a VBAC and in Australia the rate is even lower at just under 17 per cent. However, another study from the USA shows that 73 per cent of women who had a caesarean went on to have a successful vaginal delivery.”

The review looked at many different factors to try to determine which elements would give women desiring a VBAC the best chance for success. Here are some factors that lowered success rates:

  • Inductions; including AROM (artificial rupture of membranes)  and pitocin
  • Women subjected to X-Ray telemetry are more likely to wind up with repeat surgeries
  • The use of cervical ripening agents such of Cytotec, protoglandin gel or others
  • Lack of local guidelines and policies supporting VBAC

…there is considerable variation with regard to acceptance, uptake, support and success of women undergoing VBAC.

Women who desire a VBAC should search for a health care provider that has a low induction percentage, especially with VBAC attempts, as this was one of the highest indicators of success rates. Support from hospital staff prenatally was also a key factor, something women should keep in mind when selecting a health care provider for pregnancy care.

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