On Slate, David Dobbs examines the recent dramatic drop in the number of VBAC's, Vaginal Birth After Cesarean, which has occurred as more and more hospitals ban the procedure--and force women to give birth via cesarean again.
The reasons, Dobbs finds, are not the "safety and health risks" hospitals tell their patients--75% of VBAC's go routinely, 24.5% end up as conventional c-sections, and 0.5%, 1-in-200, require emergency c-sections. It's the insurance and financial risk of lawsuits relating to that 0.5%, and the cost and managerial issues associated with having a surgery staff available if they're needed.
The solutions he finds--better informed patients and medical staffs, including the birthing centers and midwives who step up to perform amny VBAC's that accurately assess patients and their risks-- "highlight the perversity of hospitals banning VBACs" in the first place, Dobbs writes.
Study up, folks.