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...

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