Health Watch - Family Matters: Birth Options

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications 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 some of the issues related to starting a family. Once you become pregnant, there are still decisions to be made, and women may not have all the information they need to make a choice.

After a woman has had a child delivered by cesarian section, doctors usually automatically plan for any subsequent births to be delivered by C-section. But that may not be necessary. Dr. F. Gary Cunningham, an obstetrician/gynecologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says the latest recommendations are more permissive, and vaginal birth is an option for women who have had C-sections and meet certain criteria. Many women don’t get the information they need to make the decision. About a third of hospitals and half of doctors don’t offer vaginal birth after caesarian as an option, often from fear of litigation.

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May 2011


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