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NY Times Report: VBAC's on the decline
From the New York Times (29 Nov. 2004)
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Repeat Caesareans Becoming Harder to Avoid
By DENISE GRADY
The notice, posted in her obstetrician's office in Lancaster, Calif.,
came as a shock to Danell Freeman: the local hospital would no longer
allow doctors to deliver babies vaginally for women who, like her, had
previously had a Caesarean section. Unless she changed doctors and
hospitals, Ms. Freeman would have to have another Caesarean -
something she had hoped to avoid.
Ms. Freeman is 29, pregnant with her fifth child. The first three were
born normally, the fourth by Caesarean. "I don't like the idea of
being cut open again," she said.
Women around the country are finding that more and more hospitals that
once allowed vaginal birth after Caesarean, or VBAC (commonly
pronounced VEE-back), are now banning it and insisting on repeat
Caesareans. About 300,000 women a year have repeat Caesareans. The
rate of vaginal births in women who have had Caesareans has fallen by
more than half, from 28.3 percent in 1996 to 10.6 percent in 2003.
.. . . .
I must say that a lot has changed in the last 7 or 8 years. Our twin
girls were born by C-section in 1994, and when our singleton boy was
born in 1997, VBAC was actually encouraged then, a practice that my dw
was eager to take advantage of since she didn't want to go through
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