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Shake it up: Why we need research and activism to change maternity care

July 26th, 2010 by avatar

Last week, I attended the Normal Labour & Birth International Research Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. With over 250 attendees from 23 countries, the conference set out to disseminate research about the nature of and optimal care for physiologic labor and birth, and to garner multidisciplinary perspectives on the implications for clinical practice, perinatal outcomes, education, management, collaboration, and policy.

I went as an agent of data dissemination. My job: to use social media (blogs, Twitter) to help make sure the conference proceedings didn’t just rattle around the four walls of the conference hotel, but got out to those in the field working to improve maternity care wherever we each are.

And I have some research I want to write about – really interesting, important research from every discipline you could imagine. But I left the three-day meeting thinking more about the (broken) link between evidence and practice than about any of the new, emerging evidence. I’ll get to the new research over the coming weeks, but first, a look at two stories that dominated the conference.

#1: Home birth on the defensive?

The plenary session by Dutch physician and epidemiologist, Simone Buitendijk, might have highlighted the unique model of midwife-led primary care geared toward planned home birth for low-risk women – a model that many birth advocates and researchers look to as a beacon of hope and reason. Buitendijk herself was co-author of the definitive study of planned home birth safety, a population-based study of over half a million births that found planned midwife-attended home birth as safe as planned midwife-attended hospital birth. And a Cochrane systematic review that came out around the same time as the Dutch home birth study provided definitive evidence that midwife-led care is superior to physician-led or shared models of care. So the Dutch have gotten it right, right? Time to celebrate and emulate? No, instead of a plenary about Dutch primary maternity care as a model to emulate, Buitendijk’s talk was a sobering call to action.

Trouble in paradise

According to Buitendijk, in spite of this evidence (or perhaps in direct response to this evidence?) a well-coordinated media campaign in the Netherlands over the past year has emphasized the dangers of home birth, pointing to an entirely different body of evidence: comparative data showing that Dutch perinatal mortality rates are higher than those in other European countries. Although only about 30 of the 1700 Dutch perinatal deaths occurred at home, and perinatal mortality at the population level is affected far more by incidence and management of preterm birth and congenital anomalies than by the labor and birth care of low-risk women with term pregnancies, the Dutch mass media have made this a story about midwifery care and home birth. The result: the rate of home birth has dipped below 25% for the first time in Dutch history.

Instilling fear in women

#2 VBAC is Back?

Eugene Declercq, who gives – hands down – the world’s most engaging and fun lectures about perinatal statistics, had the pleasure of making an 11th hour revision to his plenary talk on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) thanks to ACOG, who released their new VBAC practice guidelines at 5pm the day prior. (Hat tip to yours truly for tipping him off about the new guidelines. I even got written into his plenary remarks, as the young woman with whom he had a “stimulating conversation” that led him to “stay up all night.” Har har, Gene!)

Anyway, we see in Declercq’s talk the familiar story of how VBAC rates increased briefly then plummeted in the early 2000′s as a result of new research on uterine rupture and, more precisely, an editorial by the ob-gyn editor for the New England Journal of Medicine saying that planned repeat cesarean is “unequivocally” safer than planned VBAC.

NEJM editorial

Research driving practice! That is, if the research (or overzealous interpretations of it) supports restricting practice.

Where’s the up-tick in VBAC rates when the Cochrane systematic review was published in 2004 concluding that “Planned elective repeat caesarean section and planned vaginal birth after caesarean section for women with a prior caesarean birth are both associated with benefits and harms?” The up-tick isn’t there because by then research wasn’t driving practice – ACOG guidelines calling for “immediately available” emergency obstetric care in VBAC labors were driving practice. And it wasn’t the NIH Consensus Development Conference on VBAC or the massive AHRQ systematic review underpinning the conference (i.e., evidence) that have been heralded as the beginning of the end of hospital “VBAC bans,” it’s ACOG’s (somewhat noncommittal) move away from the “immediately available” standard.

Evidence is not driving practice. Between evidence and practice there lives some kind of cocktail of power, money, activism, media, influence and serendipity (and preservatives). The relative strength of the ingredients dictates how practices evolve. Keeping with the cocktail metaphor, the VBAC plenary ended with an invitation to consumers and our advocates to shake things up – activism being the best hope for ACOG’s new guidelines to be used to drive meaningful change for the many, many childbearing women in the United States with scarred uteruses.

This all reminds me of a third plenary talk at the Normal Birth Conference – Patti Janssen’s lecture, Transforming Research into Policy: Ingredients of Influence, in which she quotes social scientist, Martin Rein.

Science does contribute

It also reminds me of Kay Dickerson of the Cochrane Collaboration who said, “We are only to get evidence-based healthcare in this country through consumer activism.”

More on Janssen’s plenary, and updates on the research, coming soon.

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‘Tis the (Conference) Season: Come share, connect, and learn along with me

May 31st, 2010 by avatar

I have felt a little bit like a slacker blogger lately, but it’s not for lack of thinking and writing about birth. I just wrapped up an article called Social Media, Power, and the Future of VBAC with Hilary Gerber from Mom’s Tinfoil Hat and Desirre Andrews from Preparing for Birth which we submitted to the 50th anniversary “Looking Back – Looking Forward” special issue of Lamaze’s Journal of Perinatal Education. I’ve also been working with Kristen Oganowski from Birthing Beautiful Ideas to coordinate the development of an NIH VBAC Statement Primer for consumers. We have a bunch of brilliant contributors on board and will be launching the primer later this month at Lamaze’s new (very cool!) social networking site for women, Giving Birth with Confidence.

Now the big looming work comes in the form of conference season. And I want you (yes YOU) to help me. I have a love-hate relationship with conferences. Mostly love. I love how much sharing, connecting, and learning happens. I love finding out what old friends and colleagues are up to and meeting the people doing the most interesting, innovative, and important work in the field. But attending (and especially speaking at) a conference is a lot of work, and often disrupts progress in my other (equally if not more important) work. Also, I hate that conferences take me away from my family.

So…I want to make the most of the opportunities these conferences offer. I want to maximize the amount of sharing, connecting, and learning we – collectively – do. And I want to leave these conferences not with tons of new projects and commitments for myself, but with tons of new opportunities for the broader maternity care community (that means YOU) to drive meaningful improvements for women, infants, and families.

Here’s some more about the conferences I’m attending, and how YOU can be part of them.

On June 7 I’ll be at Health 2.0 Goes to Washington.

Health2ConDC

Um, have I mentioned lately that I think social media is going to transform maternity care? Well I developed this delirious optimism by hanging around (online) with the Participatory Medicine crowd.  I get to actually meet most of them next week!

I first caught on to the Participatory Medicine train when I read a Grand Rounds blog carnival on the theme of “Meaningful Use” almost exactly a year ago. “Meaningful Use” is government speak for the goal of implementing electronic health records (with piles and piles of stimulus money) in a manner that actually improves care. The Participatory Medicine folks are front and center in the conversation, pushing for patient-access to be the defining characteristic of meaningful. It’s all about liberating the mounds of data that will exist in electronic health records and letting innovators, policy-makers, scientists, and – most importantly – patients themselves use that data to improve health.

I have 10 minutes to speak but a whole day to connect and learn.  Here are my questions for you to help me make the most of this opportunity:

  1. What do you think are the most innovative ways women are using the internet or social media to have healthier, safer, and more satisfying childbearing experiences?
  2. What are the types and sources of maternity care data that you would most like to see become available?
  3. What kind of data do you think should be documented in electronic health records during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum and newborn period? Think outside the box.
  4. What do you think would be the most important benefits (and for that matter, risks or drawbacks) of having complete, unhindered, timely access to your maternity care records?
  5. What ongoing or forthcoming projects in the maternity care world could use the insights or funds of outside (non-birth-enthusiast) social innovators?

The following week (June 12-16), I’ll be at the American College of Nurse-Midwives Annual Meeting.

ACNM

I’m only attending ACNM for one day, but traveling with my family for my kids’ first-ever trip to the nation’s capitol.  I’m giving two educational sessions that couldn’t be more different from one another. First, I’m presenting a talk called, “How Not to Get Duped by Obstetric Research” about the importance of thinking critically about evidence, and how honing critical analysis skills can can help midwives practice and advocate for safe and effective care. The other talk is a panel discussion with Amie Newman from RH Reality Check and Mary Murry, CNM, from The Mayo Clinic “Pregnancy Week by Week Blog,” moderated by Melissa Garvey from ACNM’s own Midwife Connection Blog. We’ll be talking about why more midwives should be blogging and how they can get started.  We recorded a really lively discussion about these issues on The Feminist Breeder & Friends Radio Show on International Day of the Midwife – a preview of our ACNM panel – which you can listen to here:

My questions for YOU:

  1. What do you think is the optimal role of midwives (specifically certified nurse-midwives and certified-midwives) in blogging and other social media?
  2. How can we protect the privacy and dignity of the women and families we serve (and for that matter, the people we work with) when midwives share about our work in social media spaces?
  3. What obstetric routines or beliefs would you most like to hear me critically analyze?  I promise to make at least a blog post or two out of my How Not to Get Duped talk. (Actually, what I’ll also do is write parts of the talk from my prior blog posts, so if you have any favorite posts from the archives that you think would make good case studies, please suggest them!)
  4. What are the best DC outings to do with a 3 and an almost-6 year old? :)

Lastly but Oh-So-Not-Leastly, I’ll be attending the Normal Labour and Birth 5th International Research Conference in July.

Normal Birth

I’m not speaking at this conference. I’m going for the sole purpose of blogging it! I wrote a proposal to the conference organizers suggesting that they let me attend and help disseminate the proceedings. They agreed!  I think this is a huge opportunity to learn from the people doing the research about how to optimize the health and safety of healthy women and their babies around the time of birth. We’ll also hear from leaders who are creating and maintaining integrated, midwife-led primary maternity care systems, the gold standard for achieving “woman-centered, safe, effective, timely, efficient, and equitable” care.

What happened when bloggers and other connected consumers attended the NIH Consensus Development Conference on VBAC was astounding and continues to deliver. Since that experience, I’m addicted to putting scientific findings in the hands of engaged, connected consumers, because, as Kay Dickerson from the Cochrane Collaboration says, “We’ll only get evidence-based healthcare in this country through consumer activism.” Today activists have more access than ever before to information and are getting increasingly social media savvy. There’s no telling what we can do if we put our innovative, passionate minds to it and work collaboratively.

So here’s what I want to know from YOU:

  1. Whose research are you most interested in hearing about? (Look over the Normal Labour and Birth agenda to see who will be presenting about what.)
  2. Would you rather have a little bit of information/analysis about more of the presentations or more in-depth analysis of fewer presentations?
  3. Are there any researchers you would like me to conduct a “Consider the Source” Interview with?

Finally, any readers who are planning to attend any of these conferences – I invite you to submit a guest post. I’d love to share multiple perspectives (not to mention the tremendous work of blogging all of these meetings!) Just email me at amyromano [at] Lamaze [dot] org.

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Do women need to know the uterine rupture rate to make informed choices about VBAC?

March 11th, 2010 by avatar

The NIH press release about the VBAC Consensus Meeting includes only a single instance of the phrase “uterine rupture.”  Having spent 2 1/2 days watching the streaming webcast of the event, my strong sense is that this was by design. During the expert testimony, we heard over and over again that uterine rupture is the most feared outcome of a VBAC. We heard in gripping detail what happens when a uterine scar ruptures in labor, and even saw photographs of the devastation. We heard about deaths and hysterectomies and hypoxic injury to newborns that occurred with uterine ruptures.  But after all of that, we heard a rather consistent message that uterine rupture itself is not the issue.

Why’s that? To determine the safety of a practice, it makes sense to look at the death or disability associated with it. Although uterine rupture imposes a high risk of perinatal death, hypoxic injury, and hysterectomy, most uterine ruptures do not in fact result in any of these outcomes. Ruptures are traumatic, devastating, and scary, but they are not in and of themselves “death or disability”. As the lead investigator, Jeanne-Marie Guise said in her testimony to the panel, “uterine rupture is a complex intermediate event.” What women really need to know is, “how will each option affect my health, my baby’s health, and our future?”

This means knowing the likelihood the baby will die or be severely harmed, knowing the likelihood the mother herself will die or be severely harmed, and knowing the long-term consequences of the full range of possible harms. It also, of course, means understanding the benefits of both options. And as obstetrician and bioethicist Anne Lyerly noted in her testimony, everyone applies their own values to the hard data, so two women with the same history and risk factors could make two different choices about mode of birth after a prior cesarean.  These values and preferences were delineated by the panel in it’s statement to the media:

Factors contributing to some women’s desire to attempt a trial of labor include desire for their partner’s involvement in the delivery, belief that labor and vaginal delivery can be deeply empowering, enhanced opportunity for maternal-infant bonding, greater ease in establishing breast feeding, and easier recovery. Conversely, scheduling convenience, the desire to avoid labor pain, fear of failed trial of labor, avoidance of possible emergency cesarean section, and desire for surgical sterilization at the time of delivery may all contribute to a preference for planned cesarean delivery.

All of these are legitimate values, and although as educators and care providers we might explore them with women, we should not ultimately judge them.

Getting back to health outcomes, how did each option measure up? The researchers found that health outcomes for both mother and baby were good in the vast majority of women choosing either option. Maternal mortality and serious morbidity tended to be more common with planned repeat cesarean surgery while fetal/newborn mortality and serious morbidity tended to be more common with planned VBAC. Evidence appeared to strongly favor VBAC when the outcomes in future pregnancies were considered, since life-threatening placental problems and other poor outcomes get more common the more cesareans a woman has had. Many important outcomes, including long-term physical and emotional health, have been studied inadequately or not at all. The panel highlighted multiple critical gaps in evidence and called for more research. For specific findings, you can read the abstract and access the entire systematic review of the evidence here.

Statistically speaking, one of the clearest associations in the data was the small but significant excess risk of uterine rupture in women choosing VBAC. But the excess likelihood of this  “complex intermediate event” doesn’t begin to tell women the whole story. A laser-like focus on this possibility during decision-making obscures the clinically meaningful outcomes that women and their families care about, many of which favor planned VBAC.

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Will the NIH Panelists read the blogs and Twitter feeds? And should they?

March 8th, 2010 by avatar

I spent the good part of today glued to the live webcast of the National Institutes of Health Consensus Develop Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). The agenda was packed with expert testimony on the findings of a systematic review of 35 studies involving over 660,000 women with prior cesareans, prepared by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

So many important findings were presented that I would not begin to do them justice if I summarized them here. What amazed me as much as the incredibly enlightening science, though, was the remarkable involvement of consumers and consumer advocates, many of whom are very savvy users of social networking tools such as blogs, Facebook, and Twitter.

And another interesting thing happened: the NIH Panel acknowledged the bloggers. Gina from The Feminist Breeder posted this picture of a slide from their introduction…

Bloggers

…right around the time that I was tweeting this:

Screen shot 2010-03-08 at 8.19.39 PM(for the Twitter-naive, FTW is “for the win” and #nihvbac is the “hashtag” for the conference.)

They are right: there is an active blog community on the internet. And we’ve been “actively blogging” about VBAC for several weeks now. The blogging effort was coordinated, too. The International Cesarean Awareness Network pulled together an amazing collection of links to posts all over the internet on the topic of “VBAC as a Vital Option.”

This all got me wondering: have the NIH panelists been reading our blogs?  And should they?

The panelists are supposed to be independent and objective (as we have seen, this is rarely if ever the case). But does independence equate with impartiality? And do the rules of impartiality that govern, say, juries in courts of law (eg, don’t google the case!), pertain to independent scientific panels?

Surely they’ve read somewhat if not extensively in the the scientific literature on VBAC. After all, the NIH would want to choose panelists who would be able to effectively do their job: coming to consensus on VBAC, and doing so requires some familiarity with the research and clinical issues. All of those testifying have affirmed that the available literature for nearly every important aspect of VBAC decision-making is “thin,” “scarce,” or “limited” and that major areas for future research include emotional and mental health outcomes, quality of life, long-term health, and impact on mother-infant bonding and breastfeeding. So if the scientific evidence cannot provide answers, what about asking women themselves? Especially those of us who are eagerly sharing our perspectives and personal stories on blogs and Twitter?

I’m interested to hear others’ thoughts on the role (if any) of consumer advocates, connected via social media, on the scientific panels like the NIH meeting.

I have to end it there to take part in a Blog Talk Radio Show with The Feminist Breeder and Debra Bingham, the president-elect of Lamaze International and the Executive Director of the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative.  Tune in!

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The NIH VBAC Consensus Conference: Will It Pave the Road to Hell with Good Intentions?

March 6th, 2010 by avatar

First the good news: based on the presenters, it looks like the NIH VBAC conference will be a great improvement over the elective cesarean surgery travesty of four years ago. The conference seems likely to provide solid, evidence-based information on for whom and under what circumstances VBAC is safest and most likely to end in vaginal birth. Objective, unbiased information on these points is sorely needed, as illustrated by this 2008 response by ACOG vice president Dr. Ralph Hale, who one would expect to know better, to a plea to make VBAC more available:

VBAC is potentially an extremely dangerous procedure for both mother and infant. Although 98% of women can potentially have a successful VBAC, in two percent of cases the result can be a rupture of the old scar. If this happens, then death of the baby is almost certain and death of the mother is probable. Even if the mother does not die, virtually 100% will lose their child bearing ability. To prevent these disasters, the ability to perform immediate surgery is critical.

In point of fact, with appropriate care the scar rupture rate can be 0.5% or less (6,13,15), not 2%, and the chance of the baby dying as a result of scar rupture is 5% (9), not “almost certain.” As for the mother, women rarely die or have hysterectomies, but both are more common with elective repeat cesarean than planned VBAC (3,17,18,19).

Before we break out the champagne, though, consider this: nowhere in the program is any acknowledgement of a patient’s fundamental right to refuse surgery. Quite the opposite. The background statement is rife with the language of doctors giving (or withholding) permission:

For most of the 20th century, once a woman had undergone a cesarean . . ., many clinicians believed that all of her future pregnancies required delivery by cesarean as well. However, in 1980 a National Institutes of Health Consensus Development Conference panel questioned the necessity of routine repeat cesarean deliveries and outlined situations in which VBAC could be considered.

Even more telling, VBAC is positioned as a patient and provider “preference.” The background section uses this term as does the title of the session on obstetric decision making, and Anne Lyerly, the obstetrician speaker on VBAC ethics, is co-author of the commentary “Mode of delivery: toward responsible inclusion of patient preferences.”

The problem with patient preference is that it is readily trumped by provider preference. If VBAC is no more than a menu option, the danger in determining who makes a good candidate and what constitutes optimal circumstances for VBAC is that it legitimizes its opposite: doctors and institutions denying VBAC to women they don’t think make the cut or where they don’t think safety for VBAC is adequate. (The latter, BTW, is spurious. Emergencies occur in non VBAC labors. If a hospital isn’t safe for a VBAC labor, then it isn’t safe for any woman to labor there. Not to mention that ACOG guidelines for labor induction and American Society of Anesthesiologist guidelines for epidurals require the ability to perform an urgent cesarean because of the potential for just such emergencies, but no one is setting strictures on these procedures [1,2].)

A secondary danger of the “preference” perspective is that conference presenters may treat non-clinical factors such as “medico-legal concerns” and “economic considerations” as valid reasons for VBAC refusal instead of obstacles that must be overcome. This would leave us where we are now with obstetricians and hospitals free to do as they choose, and what they choose is no VBACs. A 2005 survey found that more than half the women wanting a VBAC were denied that option, a 2009 survey of 2850 hospitals revealed that half of them had a ban or de facto ban against VBAC, and Lord knows we do not need any more stories like Joy Szabo’s.

To give the conference planners and presenters their due, normally, it makes perfect sense to limit procedures to those with the skill to perform them and require their performance in environments with adequate resources. It makes sense as well as to allow providers and institutions to decline performing them. But VBAC is the exception because it is not a procedure. Labor is what inevitably happens at the end of pregnancy. Refusing VBAC means forcing women to agree to major surgery they neither want nor need in order to obtain medical care.

Depriving a woman of choice on grounds of the baby’s safety, the primary clinical rationale for VBAC denial, values the child over the mother. This is not hyperbole. According to studies of a large U.S. population, the maternal risk of death (3 per 10,000) with elective repeat cesarean is in the same ballpark with the risk of the baby dying subsequent to scar rupture during a VBAC labor (1 per 10,000) (13,19). Moreover, as the conference will discuss, a woman undergoing repeat cesarean not only runs the risks of that surgery, but an increasing risk of placental attachment abnormalities in any future pregnancies as she accumulates surgeries, abnormalities that threaten both her life and that of the fetus. By contrast, once a woman has a VBAC, she will almost always continue to have uneventful VBACs in future pregnancies. VBAC denial is the sole instance where doctors feel justified in compelling one person to undergo a medical procedure to benefit another party, but no ethical principle or law allows this, including when the beneficiary will otherwise surely die, which is far from the case with VBAC.

Failure to recognize that VBAC is a right has another consequence as well. If you start from this premise, it follows that a key question will be how best to promote safe vaginal birth in women desiring VBAC, but this is missing from the agenda. My researches for the VBAC chapter of the new edition of Obstetric Myths turned up much food for thought on this issue. For example, a study on the large U.S. population mentioned above reported scar rupture rates of 9 per 1000 with labor augmentation and 10 per 1000 with induction but only 4 per 1000 in women laboring spontaneously (13). If every woman had labored without stimulation, 63 women would have had scar ruptures instead of 124. On the other hand, a study reported equally low scar rupture rates in induced labors (3 per 1000) as in labors with spontaneous onset (16), which suggests that while spontaneous labor is optimal, women who truly require induction can be induced without excess risk provided clinicians pay proper attention to patient selection and induction protocol. Research also shows that physiologic care substantially increases VBAC rate and reduces scar rupture rate (15). The birth center VBAC study reported a VBAC rate of 81% in women with no prior vaginal birth, 9 to 20 more women per 100 than among similar women in nine studies (4,5,7,8,10-12,14,20) who had conventional obstetric management. The scar rupture rate overall was a mere 2 per 1000.

We rightly should applaud any effort that helps women and clinicians decide between planned VBAC or repeat cesarean but lament any attempt to curtail a woman’s right to refuse surgery, be it on clinical or nonclinical grounds. VBAC is a right, not a preference, a right, let me add, not abrogated by the clinician’s opinion of its wisdom. It does not matter if you, me, and everyone on the planet were to line up and say to a woman VBAC is a bad idea in your case, she still has the right to say “no” to surgery. Clinicians and institutions must be brought to accept their ethical and professional obligation to provide best practice care to every woman wanting planned VBAC. If the conference fails in this task, then whatever it accomplishes, it will fall short of its duty to childbearing women with previous cesareans.

1. ACOG. Induction of labor. ACOG Practice Bulletin No 107 2009.

2. ASA. Guidelines for regional anesthesia in obstetrics. 2007. (Accessed 2/12/2010, at http://www.asahq.org/publicationsAndServices/standards/45.pdf.)

3. Blanchette H, Blanchette M, McCabe J, et al. Is vaginal birth after cesarean safe? Experience at a community hospital. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2001;184(7):1478-84; discussion 84-7.

4. Cahill AG, Stamilio DM, Odibo AO, et al. Is vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) or elective repeat cesarean safer in women with a prior vaginal delivery? Am J Obstet Gynecol 2006;195(4):1143-7.

5. Caughey AB, Shipp TD, Repke JT, et al. Trial of labor after cesarean delivery: the effect of previous vaginal delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998;179(4):938-41.

6. Chauhan SP, Martin JN, Jr., Henrichs CE, et al. Maternal and perinatal complications with uterine rupture in 142,075 patients who attempted vaginal birth after cesarean delivery: A review of the literature. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2003;189(2):408-17.

7. Gonen R, Barak S, Nissenblat V, et al. The outcome and cumulative morbidity associated with the second and third postcesarean delivery. Am J Perinatol 2007;24(8):483-6.

8. Goodall PT, Ahn JT, Chapa JB, et al. Obesity as a risk factor for failed trial of labor in patients with previous cesarean delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005;192(5):1423-6.

9. Guise JM, McDonagh M, Hashima JN, et al. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) Report/Technology Assessment No. 71. Rockville, MD: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; 2003 March 2003. Report No.: AHRQ Publication No. 03-E018.

10. Gyamfi C, Juhasz G, Gyamfi P, et al. Increased success of trial of labor after previous vaginal birth after cesarean. Obstet Gynecol 2004;104(4):715-9.

11. Hendler I, Bujold E. Effect of prior vaginal delivery or prior vaginal birth after cesarean delivery on obstetric outcomes in women undergoing trial of labor. Obstet Gynecol 2004;104(2):273-7.

12. Kwee A, Bots ML, Visser GH, et al. Obstetric management and outcome of pregnancy in women with a history of caesarean section in the Netherlands. Eur J Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2007;132(2):171-6.

13. Landon MB, Hauth JC, Leveno KJ, et al. Maternal and perinatal outcomes associated with a trial of labor after prior cesarean delivery. N Engl J Med 2004;351(25):2581-9.

14. Landon MB, Leindecker S, Spong CY, et al. The MFMU Cesarean Registry: factors affecting the success of trial of labor after previous cesarean delivery. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2005;193(3 Pt 2):1016-23.

15. Lieberman E, Ernst EK, Rooks JP, et al. Results of the national study of vaginal birth after cesarean in birth centers. Obstet Gynecol 2004;104(5 Pt 1):933-42.

16. Locatelli A, Regalia AL, Ghidini A, et al. Risks of induction of labour in women with a uterine scar from previous low transverse caesarean section. BJOG 2004;111(12):1394-9.

17. Loebel G, Zelop CM, Egan JF, et al. Maternal and neonatal morbidity after elective repeat Cesarean delivery versus a trial of labor after previous Cesarean delivery in a community teaching hospital. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2004;15(4):243-6.

18. McMahon MJ, Luther ER, Bowes WA, Jr., et al. Comparison of a trial of labor with an elective second cesarean section. N Engl J Med 1996;335(10):689-95.

19. Spong CY, Landon MB, Gilbert S, et al. Risk of uterine rupture and adverse perinatal outcome at term after cesarean delivery. Obstet Gynecol 2007;110(4):801-7.

20. Turner MJ, Agnew G, Langan H. Uterine rupture and labour after a previous low transverse caesarean section. BJOG 2006;113(6):729-32.

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