Media Advisory

Monday, March 1, 2010

Independent Consensus Panel to Release Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) Findings on Wednesday, March 10

What: Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is the delivery of a baby through the vagina after a previous cesarean delivery. For most of the 20th century, clinicians believed that once a woman had undergone a cesarean, all of her future pregnancies required delivery by that procedure as well. In the 1980s, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) also began to be considered a viable option for these women. Since 1996, however, VBAC rates in the United States have consistently declined, while cesarean delivery rates have been steadily rising. What accounts for these changing practice patterns? An improved understanding of the clinical risks and benefits of both procedures, and how these risks interact with legal, ethical, and economic forces to shape provider and patient choices about VBAC, may have important implications for health services planning and informed decisionmaking.

An impartial, independent, Consensus Development Conference panel will hold a press telebriefing to discuss their findings and implications for the public following the NIH Consensus Development Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC): New Insights, March 8-10, 2010. The panel’s statement will incorporate their assessment of the available evidence from a systematic literature review, expert presentations, and audience input to inform patient and provider decisions regarding VBAC.

Who: Members of the Consensus Development Conference panel, to be announced Monday, March 8, 2010.

NIH experts on the topic are also available for interviews before and during the conference. Please contact Kelli Marciel (301-496-4819; to arrange.

When & Where: Presentation and discussion of panel's draft consensus statement:

  • Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 9:00 a.m. EST
  • Natcher Conference Center on the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland
  • Also available via webcast:

Press telebriefing:

  • Wednesday, March 10, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. EST.
  • Available via telephone conference call only
  • Pre-registration (optional) and additional resources:
  • Dial in info: 1-888-428-7458 (within the US) / 201-604-5177 (international)

(Pre-registration is not required, but relevant material will be e-mailed to pre-registered media prior to the telebriefing.)

Please call in 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start of the telebriefing. Media will be asked for name and outlet. Interested parties who are not affiliated with a media outlet may listen in, but will not be permitted to ask questions during the call.

Reporters are welcome to attend the Consensus Development Conference in its entirety, starting at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, March 8. Information is provided below; conference registration and further details are available at

Conference Information: The NIH Consensus Development Conference on Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New Insights is free and open to the public.

  • Monday, March 8, 2010 – 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 9, 2010 – 8:30 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 10, 2010 – 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Live and archived webcast:

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