Cesarean Delivery and Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery Rates in a First Nations Community-Based Obstetrical Program in Northwestern Ontario.J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2020 May; 42(5):601-606.JO
To examine rates of cesarean delivery (CD) and vaginal birth after cesarean delivery (VBAC) and the patient profile in a community-based obstetrical practice.
Retrospective data from 2012 to 2017 for the Sioux Lookout Meno Ya Win Health Centre (SLMHC) were compared to data from the 30 hospitals providing the same level of services (Maternity 1b: maternity care by family physicians/midwives with CD and VBAC capacity) and Ontario. SLMHC VBAC patients were then compared to the general SLMC obstetrical population. Data included maternal age, parity, comorbidities, CD, VBAC, neonatal birth weight, and Apgar scores.
The SLMHC obstetrical population differed from comparable obstetrical programs, with significantly higher rates of alcohol, tobacco, and opioid use and a higher prevalence of diabetes. CD rates were significantly lower (25% vs. 28%), and women delivering at SLMHC chose a trial of labour after CD almost twice as often (46% vs. 27%), resulting in a significantly higher VBAC rate (31% vs. 16%). Patients in the VBAC population differed from the general SLMHC obstetrical population, being older (7 years) and of greater parity. The neonates of VBAC patients had equivalent Apgar scores but lower rates of macrosomia and lower birth weights, although the average VBAC birth weight at 3346 g was equivalent to the provincial average.
The SLMHC obstetrical program has lower CD and higher VBAC rates than expected, despite prevalent risk factors typically associated with CD. Our study demonstrates that VBAC can be safely performed in well-screened and monitored patients in a rural setting with emergency CD capacity.