Randomised trial of assigned mode of delivery after a previous cesarean section--impact on maternal psychological dynamics

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2010 Oct;23(10):1106-13. doi: 10.3109/14767050903551434.


Objective: This randomised trial was designed to study the psychological status and morbidity during and after delivery among women with a previous cesarean section (CS) who were randomised to planned vaginal birth (VBAC) or planned CS.

Methods: Two hundred and ninety-eight women with one previous lower segment CS were randomised to either planned VBAC or planned CS. Women were asked to complete psychometric scales during their pregnancy till 6 months after confinement. The primary outcome studied was the differences in psychometric scores between the two study groups.

Results: There were no differences in anxiety, depression, psychological well-being or satisfaction scores between the two groups. Significantly more women in planned VBAC (27/123) requested to change to elective CS, compared to those who were randomised to planned CS (15/135) initially requested to change to planned VBAC (OR: 2.25; 95% CI: 1.13-4.47). Subgroup analyses showed that women who changed from planned CS to VBAC had lower satisfaction at delivery [Client Satisfaction Score: 24.0 (23.0-24.3), 23.0 (22.0-24.0); p=0.009] compared to women who did not change their plan for elective CS.

Conclusions: The planned mode of delivery, either elective CS or VBAC, in pregnant women who had one previous CS did not influence the psychological dynamic during the course of or after the pregnancy. VBAC was not associated with higher psychological morbidity and therefore should be encouraged.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anxiety / complications
  • Cesarean Section, Repeat / psychology*
  • Depression / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Patient Preference / psychology*
  • Patient Satisfaction*
  • Pregnancy
  • Trial of Labor
  • Vaginal Birth after Cesarean / psychology*