When a Cesarean Is the Only Option

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 16, 2016

Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics

Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics

For some women, vaginal birth is just not possible due to the risks to the mother and baby. The most common conditions during pregnancy that require cesarean delivery include placenta previa, placenta accreta, previous major surgery of the uterus, and high-order multiples (three or more babies). While the need for a cesarean initially may be disappointing to an expectant mother, planning for the delivery can make the experience more positive.

In today’s blog post, obstetrician Dr. Daniela Carusi, Director of Surgical Obstetrics at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), offers valuable information and helpful advice for women who are preparing for the birth of a baby by cesarean section (C-section).

Timing is key.

In cases with high risk of bleeding or uterine rupture with contractions, the cesarean is typically scheduled several weeks before the due date. This is to minimize the risk that the mother will go into labor before the scheduled cesarean.

Read More »

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean – An Option for Many Women

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital January 23, 2014

vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)

Yadhira had a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

Many women who have had a prior cesarean and now want to give birth through a vaginal delivery have the option of doing just that. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) has many benefits, including a much faster recovery after delivery, lower rate of complications, and less risk during future pregnancies.

“VBAC is an excellent choice for many women,” says Dr. Katherine Economy, a maternal-fetal medicine specialist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH). “Between 60 and 80 percent of women who attempt VBAC are successful, while the remaining 20 to 40 percent have cesarean delivery. Successful VBAC usually involves a number of factors.”

Read More »

It’s a Wrap – Top Blog Posts in 2013

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital December 30, 2013

The blog team at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) is wrapping up 2013 with a selection of our most popular posts.  We’d also love to hear from you – what blog topics would you like to see in 2014?

We wish you a safe, happy New Year and thank you for your support.


Face Transplant Recipient Focuses on Her Gifts

Carmen Tarleton, got a new start on life when she became the fifth BWH patient to receive a face transplant. A team of more than 30 physicians, nurses, anesthesiologists and others worked for 15 hours to complete the surgery. Carmen’s story demonstrates how the generosity of neighbors, friends, and strangers can restore hope and healing.


Morning Heart Attacks: Blame It on Your Body Clock

Have you ever wondered why most heart attacks occur in the morning?  According to recent research from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Oregon Health & Science University, you can probably place some of the blame on your body clock which drives day/night variations in a protein known to be a risk factor for heart attacks and ischemic strokes.

Read More »

The Gentle Cesarean: A New Option for Moms-to-Be

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital June 26, 2013

Rebecca Cook with her newborn son, Wyatt, who was born by family-centered cesarean at BWH.

Any woman who has had a traditional cesarean section, or C-section, can tell you that the mechanics of the surgical procedure can distract from the celebration of welcoming your new baby. Often mom and baby are separated in the moments after birth when a connection to each other is especially important.

Now, doctors and nurses at the Center for Labor and Birth at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) have developed new procedures to make the C-section more family-centered. Dr. William Camann, Director of Obstetric Anesthesiology, explained that the goal of the family-centered cesarean, or “gentle-C,” is to make the delivery as natural as possible.

Read More »

Preeclampsia: Pregnancy Complication Raises Heart Disease Risk

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 14, 2013

Preeclampsia in expectant mothers leads to high blood pressure.

Today’s post is written by Dr. Ellen Seely, Director of Clinical Research, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH).

Recently, the serious nature of preeclampsia, a complication of pregnancy, was highlighted on the popular TV series, Downton Abbey. During an episode that aired in January 2013, Lady Sybil Crawley suffered complications from the condition before delivery and after giving birth. In expectant mothers, preeclampsia results in high blood pressure and increased levels of protein in the urine. In some severe cases, preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia (seizures) and an increased risk of death.

Doctors have known about eclampsia for many centuries though its direct causes are unknown. The only cure for a mother-to-be remains delivery of her baby. In some serious cases, an early delivery, at times requiring Cesarean section, may be recommended, despite the health risks of a premature birth for the baby.

Read More »