c-sectionSo far, the common wisdom in c-section deliveries has usually been that once you commit to that major abdominal surgery, you’ll be delivering all subsequent babies that way (with exceptions, of course). Some women may be all about the elective c-section. But for those mothers who are hoping for a vaginal delivery, the quick decision by a doctor in a non-medically necessary scenario, which accounts for most American c-sections, can revoke her chances of ever having the kind of labor that she wants.

Risks are reportedly low for women who attempt vaginal delivery after a c-section. However, a very real risk has been documented, particularly a rupturing of the uterus during labor. In a first ever national look at uterine ruptures in the UK, researchers found small — yet consistent — hazards:

In women who had a previous C-section, the risk of the womb rupturing during labour was seven times higher if they tried for a natural labour, compared with a planned C-section. The risk of the baby dying was three times higher.

However, the overall risk was low – 2 in 10,000 of every UK pregnancies.

Australia has some similar findings, as the Australian Research Centre for Health of Women and Babies determined that planned repeat c-sections resulted in less severe bleeding than those women who opted for natural labor. There was also less of chance of the baby dying in the uterus when c-sections were on the agenda.

These findings, which have revisited the complications of c-sections, further evidence the need for women to discuss all their options with their doctors before delivery day. Simple going on autopilot or consenting to your doctor without further questioning could very well impact how you plan to expand your family.

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