Thanks to Julia G. for posting this on Facebook – the NIH did indeed conclude after their conference that VBAC’s were “reasonably safe” and should be more available.
The Seattle Times covered it, but they buried it in the middle of a news story.
Natural birth can follow Caesarean (it’s the second headline in the article so scroll down)
Here are more details from the NIH press release that came out yesterday just after the conference ended.
They say in the press release:
The panel will hold a press telebriefing to discuss their findings (…) Audio playback will be available shortly after conclusion of the telebriefing, by calling 1-888-632-8973 (U.S.) or 201-499-0429 (International) and entering replay code 56036507.
Anyone want to listen to the playback and report back?
You can also look at the NIH panel statement NIH Consensus Development Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New Insights.
From the conclusions section, I noticed this:
Information, including risk assessment, should be shared with the woman at a level and pace that she can understand. When both TOL and ERCD are medically equivalent options, a shared decisionmaking process should be adopted and, whenever possible, the woman’s preference should be honored.
What I like about this is the statement that a women’s preference should be honored. There are plenty of stories like this and then there’s the risk of a court order requiring a c-section, so I’m glad to see the NIH take the stand that women indeed can and should have input and the final decision on how to birth.
However, I don’t think this will change anything overnight. It remains to be seen how doctors will interpret “medically equivalent options” and whether the legal ramifications (in terms of lawsuits) for not doing c-sections will remain barriers to women’s choice. But it’s a step in the right direction.
I’ll end this with these words from the NIH panel statement:
We are concerned that medico-legal considerations add to, as well as exacerbate, these barriers. Policymakers, providers, and other stakeholders must collaborate in the development and implementation of appropriate strategies to mitigate the chilling effect of the medico-legal environment on access to care.