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    Find out what other moms-to-be are asking. Join in the discussion with Henci Goer, whose expertise is determining what the research tells us best promotes safe, healthy birth. If you would like to contact Henci outside of the Ask Henci forum, send an email to

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    Jul 18

    Did c-section cause stillbirth in subsequent pregnancy?

    Archived User
    I've had research showing that having had a prior c-section increases risk in subsequent pregnancies after going pass 39 weeks, I suffered a still born a couple months ago full term 40 weeks. I still wonder if this was the cause, and if so is it safe to have another vbac in future pregnancies?
    Henci Goer

    First, let me offer my deepest sympathy for your loss. While some women may suffer this tragedy who have no prior cesareans or any discernable reason why this should have happened, it is true that several studies have found that late fetal death is more common in the subsequent pregnancy after a cesarean. As for your plans in any future pregnancies, women who have had a VBAC are more likely to go on having uneventful VBACs than women who have not. By contrast, accumulating cesarean scars increases the risk of incurring placenta previa (the placenta overlays the cervix), placenta accreta (the placenta invades the uterine muscle sometimes growing through it into other organs), and the combination of the two. All three conditions pose grave risks to baby and mother, but especially placenta accreta. Increasing numbers of cesarean surgeries also increases the risk of dense adhesions (internal scarring). This scarring increases the risk of operative injury, can result in chronic pain after delivery, and in rare cases can lead to a twisted bowel. In short, while I cannot tell you absolutely that it is safe to have a VBAC because there are no guarantees, I can tell you that planning VBAC is safer than planned repeat surgery when there is no compelling new indication for it.

    -- Henci

    All Times America/New_York

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