Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Al Khor Hospital has introduced a new clinic to help women who have had a previous caesarean section deliver their next child normally, it was announced Friday.
After having a caesarean, or C-section, many women may want a vaginal birth after cesarean or VBAC procedure for their next baby as they wish to avoid major surgery, have a religious or personal preference, or have had a negative C-section experience in the past.
While a VBAC isn’t medically appropriate for all women, the new clinic at Al Khor Hospital is helping to make it possible for women who have been deemed good candidates. Since the clinic opened, over 60 women have benefitted, with more than 10 successfully having VBACs in September alone.
Mariama Feika, director, Nursing and Midwifery, Al Khor Hospital
Mohamed al-Jusaiman, HMC’s deputy chief of the General Hospitals Group and chief executive officer of Al Khor Hospital, says the hospital is looking to expand its services to better serve the population within the northern region of the country.
“We are constantly reviewing our existing services and introducing new ones, such as the VBAC clinic, in our quest to offer the best care possible to our patients. This clinic is especially significant because it is serving high-risk pregnant women in need of focused and specialised care,” said al-Jusaiman.
In some cases, C-sections are medically necessary, even life-saving, but the procedure can come with health risks, such as a higher chance of blood loss, infection, issues with the placenta, longer recovery times, and other risks.
The midwife-led VBAC Clinic at Al Khor Hospital was opened last March as part of ongoing efforts to boost antenatal services and improve the support offered to pregnant women. The opening of the clinic is also aligned with the National Health Strategy objective of reducing the rate of caesarean sections performed across hospitals in Qatar.
Mariama Feika, director, Nursing and Midwifery – Women and Newborn Services at Al Khor Hospital, runs the clinic and says it was developed to empower women to take a more active role in the decision making around the birth of their children. She explained that women who attend the clinic are provided with detailed counselling and education.
“There is a lot of misinformation about vaginal birth after C-section and there is a lot of evidence that supports VBAC as an option for women who have previously given birth through a C-section. We are aware that many women might be sceptical about trying a vaginal birth for fear of complications that could arise, such as the rupturing of their C-section scar. However, this is why we offer counseling and education. Although there are risks of complications during VBAC, we are very prepared to handle any emergency that could arise,” added Feika.