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‘RCM comments on vaginal birth after a caesarean section’

20 April, 2016

‘RCM comments on vaginal birth after a caesarean section’

Binary Data

 Women who had a caesarean section in a previous pregnancy are much more likely to have a successful vaginal birth if their antenatal care is led by a midiwfe that's according to a new study from the University of Manchester.

The research paper which was published today (Wednesday April 20th) in the journal Birth entitled evaluating a Midwife -Led Model of Antenatal Care for Women with a previous Caesarean  section' 

The study is the first of it kind to evaluate the influence on VBAC rates of midwife-led antenatal care as opposed to care led by an obstetrician. 

Although caesarean sections are safe, research is increasingly showing that vaginal birth and labour can protect against long term-risks such as impaired immune response, asthma, obesity and type 2 diabetes in the baby.


Commenting on the research Jane Munro quality & audit development advisor at the Royal College of Midwives (RCM) says; “This is an interesting study and adds to the body of evidence reporting on the value of midwifery led care.”

“Existing research has indicated that previous childbirth experience plays an important role in decision-making about methods of childbirth chosen by women.   This study demonstrates the importance of the role of the midwife in supporting and promoting VBAC”

“The majority of women who have had one caesarean section can have a vaginal birth next time.   Women should speak to midwives and doctors about what options they have, so they fully understand the risks and benefits of   what care pathway is available to them.     

“There is too much variation among maternity units in caesarean section rates that is not accounted for by differences in the population served. We need to find out why this is happening and take steps to reduce that variation.”


The full paper can be viewed here:  ‘Evaluating a Midwife-Led Model of Antenatal Care for Women with a Previous Cesarean Section: A Retrospective, Comparative Cohort Study’, was published in the journal Birth.



For further information please contact the RCM Press Office on 020 7312 3456, pressofficer@rcm.org.uk.


Notes to editors

The RCM is the only trade union and professional association dedicated to serving midwifery and the whole midwifery team. We provide workplace advice and support, professional and clinical guidance and information, and learning opportunities with our broad range of events, conferences and online resources. For more information visit the RCM website at https://www.rcm.org.uk/.


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