CLEVELAND - When it comes to major surgery in the United States, the most common is cesarean sections on pregnant women. But Consumer Reports says all too often c-sections are not necessary.
The number of caesareans is on the rise. Nearly one-third of babies born in the United States are born via c-section.
Dr. Marvin Lipman said, "There are some situations in which performing a c-section is to be preferred, but that's major surgery. In most cases, the safest way for mother and baby is to deliver vaginally."
If a woman's first birth is a c-section, there's about a 90% chance subsequent births will also be c-sections.
"That doesn't have to happen." Lipman said, "Many women who've had a c-section, especially with a low-transverse incision, are able to have a vaginal birth after c-section. That's known as a VBAC."
But a woman seeking a VBAC delivery can have trouble finding a doctor willing to try one.
"Some doctors don't have the necessary support from their hospital or their malpractice insurance won't cover the procedure. If your doctor is willing to try a VBAC, make sure that he or she has all the necessary information from a previous c-section," said Lipman.
Almost all of these women were able to deliver their second child without having a c-section.
In addition to a rise in the number of c-sections, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of scheduled early deliveries. Consumer Reports said in uncomplicated pregnancies, it is better for the baby and mother to let Mother Nature decide when a baby is ready to be born.