Midwives in Britain take on VBAC program

Midwives At Southampton, England, Helping Women Who Have Previously Had A Caesarean Section To Choose A Normal Birth For Their Next Baby
17 Feb 2009   

Nationally, the number of c-sections has dramatically increased over the last decade. This has led the NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement to develop a toolkit to help midwives reduce these numbers.

This toolkit has been in development at Princess Anne Hospital for the last 18 months and during that time there has been a 4 per cent reduction in the number of c-sections. This is double the target reduction.

In 2007, 24 per cent of births were by c-section. In 2008 this dropped to 20 per cent, with just 16 per cent of births by c-section in November.

One of the initiatives is to introduce midwife-led care for women having vaginal birth following a previous caesarean. This project is known as VBAC.

Helen Barnes, the consultant midwife trainee who helped set up the project, said: “There are lots of benefits to a normal birth, so where it is safe to do so we would advise this for women if their previous c-section was uncomplicated.

“We try not to medicalise the event, so from the beginning the mother will see a midwife, rather than a doctor. They will have a risk assessment to make sure they are suitable for midwife-led care and VBAC, and we fully explain the risks and benefits so they can make an informed choice.”

After a normal birth, recovery tends to be quicker and the mother is up and about sooner. This means there is less risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and breast-feeding also tends to get off to a more successful start.

NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement

Article URL: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/139288.php

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