Thursday, March 11, 2010

VBAC in the News

The VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean) rate in the United States has been decreasing since the mid-90s while the cesarean rate has continued to climb:

In NJ in 2008, the cesarean rate continued to increase and has reached 40%. The number of women in NJ with a previous cesarean who had a successful VBAC continued to decrease in 2008 and was 7.5%.

This week, there is news that makes me optimistic that the pendulum is going to start swinging in the opposite direction.

What happened is that The National Institute of Health (NIH) came to this conclusion:
Panel Questions "VBAC Bans," Advocates Expanded Delivery Options for Women

Now I expected to see buzz about this in the birthing world - and I did! Lamaze, ICAN, and many birth advocates issued statements and wrote blog posts.

But this news didn't stay in the birthing world. Major news organizations picked up the story as well, leading to seeing these headlines in the news:

From Reuters: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Underused

From Associated Press: Women Need Chance to Avoid Repeat C-Section

From MSNBC: Women Need Chance to Avoid 2nd C-Section

From ABC: Are C-Sections Too Common? Panel Expected to Issue Recommendations on Ways to Lower Cesarean Rates

From MedPage: Base VBAC Decision on Evidence, NIH Panel Urges

From The Examiner: NIH Concensus Panel Concludes VBACs should be Available

The NIH does not legislate policy, so their recommendations don't mean there will be any immediate change. But mark my words, change is coming - the pendulum is starting to swing the other way. And that is good news for pregnant women and their families. I am hopeful that the tide is turning, not just for VBAC births but for evidence-based care in other areas of maternity care as well.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent info. Thanks for posting this!!!