Raleigh, N.C. — A Cesarean section is the most commonly performed surgery in the United States, and the surgery now accounts for nearly one in three births. However, Consumer Reports says that in many cases a C-section is unnecessary.
There are some situations in which a C-section is preferred, especially during a high-risk delivery, but the procedure is a major surgery. In most cases, the safest method for both mother and child is to deliver vaginally.
About 90 percent of women who deliver their first child via C-section also deliver subsequent children by C-section, a factor contributing to the increase of the surgery.
"That doesn't have to happen," Dr. Marvin Lipman, of Consumer Reports, said. "Many women who've had a C-section, especially with a low-transverse incision, are able to have a vaginal birth after C-section. That's known as a V-BAC."
However, some mothers wishing to have a V-BAC delivery could have trouble finding a doctor willing to try one.
"Some doctors don't have the necessary support from their hospital or their malpractice insurance won't cover the procedure. If your doctor is willing to try a V-BAC, make sure that he or she has all the necessary information from a previous C-section," Lipman said.
Consumer Reports also said that in addition to a rise in the number of C-sections, there has also been a dramatic rise in the number of scheduled early deliveries. They recommend in uncomplicated pregnancies to let nature take its course in deciding when the baby should be born.