Laboring over delivery

One Caesarean birth was enough for Wilmette mom Julie Lambert. She wanted to try natural birth the second—and third—time around. She gave birth to two healthy children, in 2003 and this April, both times avoiding a C-section.

Moms considering a vaginal birth after Caesarean, or VBAC, now have more information available. A study recently published in Obstetrics& Gynecology showed a low risk of uterine rupture with VBAC, a concern many mothers have after a C-section.

Many people assume women with more than one previous C-section have a much greater risk of uterine rupture than those with only one prior C-section, according to Dr. Mark Landon. He is the lead author of the study and professor and vice-chairman in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

“Our analysis revealed that the rate of uterine rupture was not statistically higher,” Landon says. The average risk for all women involved was between .5 and .7 percent.

The study included 17,890 women who gave birth from 1999 to 2002 after at least one prior C-section.

Even though studies show VBAC as a viable option for many mothers, it’s unclear whether the VBAC rate will be affected by the research.

“There are economic and liability factors which have little to do with quality of care or medical evidence, yet these factors … clearly influence obstetrical decision-making,” says Landon.

Lambert advises moms to find a doctor or midwife who will consider their wants regarding a child’s birth.

Lambert is now a co-leader of the Chicago chapter of International Cesarean Awareness Network, a nonprofit group with the goal of preventing unnecessary Caesarean sections.

For more information, e-mail

This is an updated version of a story that orginally ran in Chicago Parent.

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