Perspectives of Obstetricians and Women with a History of Prior Cesarean Birth Regarding Subsequent Mode of Birth in Trifinio and Coatepeque, Guatemala

Author(s): Andrea Jimenez-Zambrano, Kathryn Feller, Claudia Rivera, Angela Marchin, Antonio Guillermo Bolanos, Edwin Asturias, Hector Rodas, Margo S Harrison

Background: The decision regarding delivery in the context of a prior cesarean birth is complex because both trial of labor after cesarean and elective repeat cesarean birth have risks and benefits.

Purpose: Our research objective was to understand the perspective of women and obstetricians regarding factors influencing mode of birth for women with a history of prior cesarean.

Methods: In February 2020, qualitative data was collected at Coatepeque Hospital in Coatepeque, Guatemala. In-depth interviews were conducted with obstetricians and women at the Center for Human Development in the Southwest Trifinio region. Interviews were recorded, transcribed, translated, and analyzed using conceptual content analysis of key informant interviews to analyze the meaning of themes and concepts related to mode of delivery for women with a history of prior cesarean birth.

Results: Women described feeling conflicted about their preferences on the location and attendant of their future births, but suggested that the hospital setting, and physician providers were more capable of managing complications. Physicians felt trial of labor after cesarean was the safer option but described multiple reasons that made repeat cesarean birth the more common mode of birth.

Conclusions: There is a need for innovative approaches to patient messaging and education around mode of delivery after a prior cesarean in the Southwest Region in Guatemala. Findings from this study underscore the need to improve the quality and dissemination of the educational information given, medical history collected during prenatal care, and pain control during labor. Finally, there is a need for obstetric training to support vaginal birth in the facility setting for the successful implementation of evidence-based practices around trial of labor after cesarean at Coatepeque Hospital.

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