How can birth policy be justified

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, April 18, 2005

How can a hospital justify delivering babies at all if they can't do VBACs (vaginal birth after Cesarean section)? Valley Medical Care's justification for not doing VBACs is that they can't do an emergency c-section in less than 17 minutes, with 20 minutes being the fastest and four hours the slowest.

What about the mom whose labor seems to be going fine, but all of a sudden the baby goes into distress and needs to be delivered right then? There are many things that can happen during labor that would necessitate an emergency caesarian delivery, but they don't happen very often.

In fact, the uterine rupture rate for a non-augmented labor (where no medications are given to speed up labor) in a woman with a prior c-section are very similar to the uterine rupture rates for women with no prior uterine surgery. Women with no prior uterine surgery sometimes have uterine ruptures, too, especially when labor is augmented with misoprostol and certain other labor-inducing/cervical ripening agents that can hyper-stimulate the uterus.

Rebecca Sweetser

Boeblingen, Germany

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