QUINCY — Pregnant women who have previously given birth by Cesarean section are now candidates to have a vaginal birth, according to the obstetric department of Blessing Hospital.

“Twenty years ago, the available medical evidence showed that VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) caused unnecessary risks to mother and baby,” said Maureen Kahn, president/chief executive officer of Blessing Health System and Blessing Hospital. “At that time, experts recommended that if a woman had given birth by C-section in the past, future deliveries should also be done by C-section, for the safety of the mother and infant. So, Blessing stopped offering VBACs in compliance with the medical evidence at the time.

“Over the years, women have regularly expressed interest to us regarding VBAC,” Kahn said. “We are pleased to again offer this option to eligible women choosing to give birth at Blessed Beginnings.”

To offer VBAC in the safest environment possible, Blessing Hospital has contracted with a national obstetrics/gynecology hospitalist group to have OB/GYN physicians in the hospital every day, around the clock, to provide care to all pregnant women, including those who have chosen VBAC.

Blessing officials said the OB/GYN hospitalist does not replace a woman’s OB/GYN. The hospitalist provides specialized physician care until the woman’s OB/GYN arrives at the hospital, typically toward the end of active labor. OB/GYNs on Blessing Hospital’s medical staff helped plan the Blessed Beginnings OB/GYN hospitalist program.

As part of the program, an anesthesiologist also will be onsite at Blessing Hospital every day, around the clock.

A pregnant woman who has had a C-Section previously will discuss the option of VBAC with her personal OB/GYN to determine if her medical history and condition make her a candidate for the option.

The Blessed Beginnings OB/GYN hospitalist team also will offer on-site emergency care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, something that has not been available in the past.

“On-site OB emergency care provides a new level of safety to the communities we serve,” said Jamie Kane, nurse manager of Blessed Beginnings. “Pregnancy-related emergencies can happen at any time. Now, moms-to-be will have immediate access to a specialist at any time on any day at Blessed Beginnings for their care and the care of their baby.”

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