Norton Women’s Care recognized for supporting patients who desire VBAC

Providers with Norton Women’s Care support patients who attempt vaginal birth after cesarian (VBAC).

Norton Women’s Care, with childbirth services at Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital, has been recognized as High Performing in Adult Maternity Care (Uncomplicated Pregnancy) by U.S. News & World Report, in part due to its regular support of patients who attempt vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

A pregnant patient who previously has had a cesarean section (C-section) may prefer to try VBAC rather than undergo another C-section. Not all hospitals can accommodate this preference, and providers with Norton Women’s Care have been recognized for “routinely offering to support VBAC.”

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To refer a patient to Norton Women’s Care, visit Norton EpicLink and choose EpicLink referral to Obstetrics/Gynecology.

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“In 2021, our VBAC success rate was 84.6%, with 44 out of 52 successful attempts,” said Nicholas D. Carricato, M.D., OB/GYN with Norton Women’s Care. “The national average for successful VBAC is quoted at 60% to 80%, so last year’s numbers were outstanding.”

How our patients benefit

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, women who deliver vaginally after a previous C-section are less likely to experience birth-related complications, such as a ruptured uterus, blood transfusion, unplanned hysterectomy or admission to the intensive care unit, compared with women who have repeat cesareans.

“I believe that Norton Hospital and Norton Women’s & Children’s Hospital attempt more VBACs than most other hospitals in our region because we have experienced physicians who feel capable of attempting them, in addition to the knowledge and skill set to perform emergency surgery should the need arise,” Dr. Carricato said.

Who is a good candidate for VBAC?

Most physicians use the VBAC calculator, available through the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine, to calculate the patient’s probability for success.

Being in good health and having had a prior vaginal birth make a patient a good candidate for VBAC. Other factors include:

  • The reason for the previous C-section is not present during this pregnancy.
  • The baby is a normal size and is head-down.
  • There is no prior history of preeclampsia, stalled or induced labor.

Providing adequate patient education regarding the risks and benefits of VBAC is imperative. Counseling patients on the importance of a healthy diet and exercise program is key to avoid excessive weight gain during pregnancy.

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