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VBACs can be as safe as second C-sections, according to a new study

But there are a lot of factors at play.

VBACs can be as safe as second C-sections, according to a new study

For women who previously had a cesarean birth, deciding whether to have an elective repeat C-section or attempt a VBAC isn't always a simple choice. But a new study suggests the risks of complications posed by either option are relatively low and comparable—or even favorable for mothers and babies if a VBAC is successful.


The caveat is there are many factors at play that can predict the success of an attempted VBAC, so the decision is best left to individuals working under the guidance of their own healthcare professionals.

According to the study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ), there is a slightly high risk of complications associated with attempted VBACs (with complications occurring in 11 in 1,000 deliveries) versus scheduled C-sections (complications in 6 in 1,000 deliveries). The researchers attribute this largely to the fact that approximately 50% of attempted VBACs result in emergency C-sections.

However, for women with successful vaginal births after a previous C-section, the overall rates of complications were lower than if they had a second C-section. The researchers also note VBACs may be desirable for women who plan to have more children as it is unlikely for a woman to have a successful VBAC after two or more C-sections.

"What we want people to take away from this is that when patients are properly selected and managed safely in labor and delivery, both options are reasonable and low risk," co-author Carmen Young, an assistant clinical professor in the University of Alberta's department of obstetrics and gynecology, tells The Globe and Mail.

For the study, researchers analyzed 2003 to 2015 data from all women in Canada (excluding Quebec) who had a second child after first having a C-section. Noted complications associated with attempted VBACs include uterine rupture and hemorrhage while complications associated with C-sections include surgical complications and placental complications in subsequent pregnancies. The authors say they were surprised to see that infant, but not maternal, outcomes worsened between 2003 and 2015 as a result of attempted VBACs.

The researchers also challenge the rising overall rates of C-section deliveries. The World Health Organization says the ideal rate of C-sections worldwide should be between 10 and 15%, yet it is closer to 32% in the United States and approximately 26% in Canada. "This topic is an important issue because rates of cesarean section continue to rise and the most common single indication for a cesarean delivery is a prior cesarean delivery," says Young in a press release.

For mothers deciding between an elective C-section or attempted VBAC, the authors note there are many factors to consider—including the reasoning behind the initial C-section and future family plans. "Because the choice between delivery modes is so personal, it's up to clients to evaluate and interpret the risks," says Young. "Our research highlights the importance of appropriate patient selection as well as the importance of careful monitoring in labor and delivery to optimize their safety."

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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