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Women Who Have Had a Prior C-Section Choose Delivery Method Preferred by Their Doctor, Study Shows

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A new study being presented at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting ™, in Dallas, Texas  reports that women who’ve undergone one prior delivery via c-section seem to know little about the risks and benefits associated with undergoing a second cesarean. Not only that but, when it comes between choosing an elective c-section over a trial of labor, the choice between the two for the woman was strongly affected by the preference of their medical provider.

Trial of labor after a c-section has been found to have an overall success rate of 60-80% and is considered a very reasonable option for most women. Despite this, it’s been noted that the majority of women (who would be eligible for a trial of labor) still choose to undergo an elective repeat c-section. The researches hypothesized that this was due to poor education of the women on the benefits and risks of both options.

The study looked at a total of 155 women and the results were pretty interesting.

The researchers collected data using women who presented at the hospital for delivery between November 2010 and July 2011 — each had a history of one c-section delivery and were eligible for a trial of labor. Using their consent the women were asked to fill out a questionnaire – either before their elective c-section or after being admitted for their trial of labor.

Out of the 155 women, 87 women presented for a trial of labor and 68 opted for an elective repeat c-section. No differences were noted in education level, age, or provider type between the two groups. The study found that women in both groups had a clear lack of understanding of the risks/benefits for an elective repeat c-section vs trial of labor, and was particularly noted in the group who chose to undergo an elective c-section.

The statistic I find fascinating and shocking from this study is only 13% of the women who chose to have a trial of labor and 4% who chose to have an elective c-section knew the chances for a successful delivery — with the majority of the women in both groups stated they “do not know“.

Where doctors preferences come into play in what choice the woman makes regarding her delivery — it had a huge affect according to this study:

When patients perceived their providers as having a preference for ERCS [elective repeat c-section], only 4% chose TOLAC [trial of labor after c-section]. Conversely, 43% chose TOLAC when they thought that was their provider’s preference.

What the study concluded was that women who are strong candidates for a trial of labor after a c-section have very little knowledge on the risks and benefits of either choice and that their doctors preference (perceived or outright spoken) played a strong role in how they decided between the two.

:: Do you take your doctors advice strongly when it comes to how you will / how you have delivered your child? ::

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source: smfm newsroom
photo credit: photostock

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