Nearly two-thirds of women
who had a Caesarean delivery for their first child were successful when they
attempted a natural birth for their second baby, British researchers found.
The study, published in BJOG:
An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, used data on almost
144 000 British women who had their first baby by C-section between 2004 and
2011. The researchers found that 52% of them attempted a vaginal birth for
their second baby.
"This study shows
encouraging results with the majority of women who attempted a natural delivery
after a primary C-section being successful," journal deputy editor John
Thorp said in a journal news release.
Of the women who attempted
a vaginal birth for their second baby, 63% had a successful delivery. Black
women had a lower success rate than white women (50% vs. 66%), and women older
than 34 had a lower success rate than those aged 24 and younger (59% vs. 69%).
Women aged 24 and younger
were more likely to attempt natural delivery for their second child than women
older than 34, the study found. And Asian women and black women were more
likely than white women to attempt natural delivery for their second child.
The reason for a C-section
in the first birth strongly determined the likelihood of a successful vaginal
delivery for the second birth. Women with a history of failed induced labour
were almost twice as likely to be unsuccessful when attempting a vaginal birth
after previously having a C-section.
The researchers also found
that the rates of attempted and successful vaginal birth after an earlier
C-section varied between hospitals for reasons that could not be explained.
Study leader Hannah Knight
said an informed discussion about whether or not to attempt a vaginal delivery
after a Caesarean section requires an assessment of the risk of emergency Caesarean.
"This paper provides
valuable information both for women and the obstetricians and midwives caring
for them," Knight, of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists,
said in the news release.
The majority of women with
an uncomplicated first C-section are candidates for a vaginal delivery the next
time around, "but our data found that only half of those women chose this
option," she noted.
The American Academy of Paediatrics
has more about Caesarean delivery.