Medicine: Safer Births the Second Time After Caesareans

The old guard adopts a new policy on C-sections

"Once a C-section, always a C-section." That is the snappy guideline most obstetricians have followed since World War I. By the mid-1980s, 1 baby out of every 4 born in the U.S. was delivered by caesarean, making the U.S. the world leader in surgical deliveries. In 1987 an estimated 35% of the procedures were done only because the mother had previously delivered by C-section. Last week the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists officially declared new guidelines on caesareans for the first time in 70 years. Its recommendation: doctors should encourage mothers who have had a C-section to have a normal...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!