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Mode of Delivery Among Women with a History of Prior Cesarean Birth at Mizan-Tepi University Teaching Hospital

Author(s): Margo S Harrison, Tewodros Liyew, Ephrem Kirub, Biruk Teshome, Andrea Jimenez-Zambrano, Margaret Muldrow, Teklemariam Yarinbab

Objectives: The objective of this study was to observe mode of delivery among women with a history of prior cesarean birth.

Methods: After collecting data on a convenience sample of 1,000 women giving birth at 28 weeks gestation or greater at Mizan-Tepi University Teaching Hospital, we reduced the sample to only include women with a history of prior cesarean birth. We wanted to observe mode of delivery among this cohort and determine if any characteristics were associated with elective repeat cesarean birth, as compared to vaginal birth after cesarean.

Results: Of 1,000 women in our convenience sample, data on history of prior cesarean birth was missing on 2 women (0.2%). Of the remaining women, 49 (4.9%) reported a history of prior cesarean; 44 (89.8%) reported one prior cesarean and 5 (10.2%) women had two prior cesarean births. Repeat cesarean birth occurred in 65.1% (n = 29/44) of women with one prior cesarean and in 80.0% (n = 4/5) of women with two prior surgeries. Among the total cohort of women with a history of prior cesarean birth, of those who experienced repeat cesarean birth (n = 33), 27.3% (n = 9) occurred pre-labor, 69.7% (n = 23) occurred intrapartum after the onset of spontaneous labor, and 3.0% (n = 1) occurred intrapartum during the course of an induced or augmented labor. Labor onset and cervical exam on admission were statistically significantly different in bivariate comparisons of women who successfully achieved vaginal birth after cesarean as compared to those who gave birth by repeat cesarean birth, and postpartum maternal antibiotics were more common after repeat cesarean birth, p < 0.05. In a multivariable model of factors associated with successful vaginal birth after cesarean, the likelihood of successful vaginal birth was increased 15% for each increasing centimeter of dilation on a woman’s admission cervical exam (RR 1.15, p = 0.004).

Conclusion: Almost one-third of women in our observational cohort attempted trial of labor after cesarean; those that were successful were more likely to have been more cervically dilated on their admission exam. No sociodemographic or obstetrical characteristics were more likely among women who underwent pre-labor repeat cesarean birth as compared to intrapartum cesarean birth.

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