More B.C. women choosing to have repeat C-sections, UBC study finds
B.C. has highest rate of repeat Caesarean sections in Canada
More women in B.C. are choosing to have repeat Caesarean sections, and not necessarily for health reasons, new research from the University of British Columbia suggests.
The study notes B.C. has the highest rate of repeat C-sections in Canada and just 33 per cent of women eligible for vaginal birth after a caesarean — also known as V-BAC — between 2012 and 2013 actually attempted it.
"We don't want to see C-section rates climb too high because it exposes mothers to all sorts of potential issues like increased rate of infection [and] placenta problems if they have repeat C-sections, which could lead to hysterectomy," researcher and family practise postdoctoral fellow Sarah Munro told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.
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"We want to see a C-section rate that's closer to 19 or 20 per cent, and anything higher than that and we start to question whether these C-sections are medically indicated or not."
Munro said women opted for repeat C-sections for various reasons: because they want "the healthiest birth possible," more control over the birth and, for some women who have had unplanned C-sections, to rule out the surprise and trauma of another unplanned procedure.
"It's a really complex decision, and women don't make it lightly," she said.
Munro said 80 per cent of women who have had C-sections are eligible for vaginal birth, "so it's a very safe, very healthy choice for women."
She said her findings suggest women need more information when making pregnancy decisions, noting that few discussed their options with health care professionals, instead relying on friends and the internet.
With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast
To hear the full story, click the audio labelled: More B.C. women choosing to have C-sections, UBC study finds