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Once a cesarean, always a cesarean?

About one in four U.S. babies is born by cesarean section. In the past, physicians counseled women who had delivered a baby by this surgery to do the same in subsequent births. Now, roughly 60 percent of women in the United States whose first baby is born by cesarean shun that route the second time, opting instead to go into labor to attempt a vaginal delivery.

A study of more than 20,000 women in Washington State now finds that expectant mothers who've already given birth by cesarean section put themselves at increased risk of uterine rupture by trying vaginal birth, particularly if physicians induce the labor.

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