WASHINGTON – Most women who've had a C-section, and many who've had two, should be allowed to try labor with their next baby, say new guidelines — a step toward reversing the "once a cesarean, always a cesarean" policies taking root in many hospitals.
Wednesday's announcement by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists eases restrictions on who might avoid a repeat C-section, rewriting an old policy that critics have said is partly to blame for many pregnant women being denied the chance.
Fifteen years ago, nearly 3 in 10 women who'd had a prior C-section gave birth vaginally the next time. Today, fewer than 1 in 10 do.
Last spring, a National Institutes of Health panel strongly urged steps to reverse that trend, saying a third of hospitals and half of doctors ban women from attempting what's called VBAC, for "vaginal birth after cesarean."
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