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Am Fam Physician. 1993 Jan;47(1):129-34.

Vaginal birth after cesarean section: the patient's point of view.

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Department of obstetrics and gynecology, Jamaica (N.Y.) Hospital.


Advocacy of vaginal birth after cesarean section (VBAC) is the current standard of care. We interviewed patients in our program about their attitudes toward VBAC and cesarean section. The success rate in our VBAC program is similar to rates reported in the literature (65 percent). However, interviews with our patients revealed that 40 percent had no desire to participate in the VBAC program, although they fulfilled the criteria for eligibility. The main reasons given for declining a trial of VBAC were the convenience of an elective cesarean section and fear of another prolonged, painful and potentially dangerous labor. Thirty-two percent of patients in whom VBAC was successful were dissatisfied with the experience and would have preferred an elective cesarean section. The reasons patients gave for attempting VBAC were different from the medical reasons proposed to them. The main reasons given were a desire to deliver "naturally," a fear of surgery and the concern that cesarean section might harm them or their baby.

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