Rates of VBAC Reached 13.3% in 2018

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From 2016 to 2018, there were increases in the rates of vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC), reaching 13.3 percent in 2018, according to a March data brief published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center for Health Statistics.

Michelle J.K. Osterman, from the National Center for Health Statistics in Hyattsville, Maryland, used data from the National Vital Statistics System to describe recent trends in VBAC rates from 2016 to 2018.

The researchers found that from 2016 to 2017 and 2018, there was an increase in the rates of VBAC from 12.4 to 12.8 and 13.3 percent, respectively. For women in their 20s and 30s, the rates of VBAC increased from 2016 through 2018. In 2018, all race and Hispanic-origin groups had higher VBAC rates than in 2016, except non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander women. Compared with 2016, in 2018, VBAC rates increased in 17 states and decreased in one state. Among births delivered at 38, 39, 40, and 41 or more weeks of gestation, VBAC rates increased 5 to 13 percent.

"The Healthy People 2020 goal is to increase VBAC to 18.3 percent of women with a previous cesarean delivery," the authors write. "If the current annual rate of increase continues (3 percent to 4 percent per year), the total VBAC rate would reach this goal in approximately 10 years."

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