Childbirth: Delivery Options

Health Watch is a Public Service of the University News Bureau and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about how medicine can intervene when childbirth becomes complicated. Many women may not be getting the information they need to make a fully informed decision about their delivery options.

The number of cesarean sections has increased dramatically over the past few decades, from 5 percent in 1970 to nearly 33 percent of all births today. It’s commonly believed that once a woman has had a C-section, she has to deliver all her subsequent children that way. About half of physicians don’t even offer the option of a vaginal birth after a C-section to their patients because of fear of litigation. Dr. Gary Cunningham, an obstetrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says women who meet certain criteria can have a safe and successful vaginal birth after having a previous C-section, and they should have access to information about their options.

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September 2011

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