An expert review from the US has stated that it is safe to have a normal vaginal birth even though previous babies were delivered through a Caesarean section.
The review, by the National Institutes of Health, says there is no good reason to force a woman who has had one Caesarean section to repeat such operations if she wants to try having later babies more naturally.
The experts cite "rigorous research" showing that at least trying natural labour is successful in nearly 75 percent of cases, and women are less likely to die if they are allowed to labour naturally for a while, even if they end up delivering surgically.
"Declining vaginal birth after Caesarean rates and increasing Caesarean delivery rates over the last 15 years would seem to indicate that planned repeat Caesarean delivery is preferable to a trial of labour," ABC Science quoted review chairman Dr F Gary Cunningham as saying.
"But the currently available evidence suggests a very different picture: a trial of labour is worth considering and may be preferable for many women," Cunningham, the chairman of obstetrics and gynaecology at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, said.
The panel cites two recent surveys of hospital administrators that showed 30 percent of hospitals had stopped offering women the option of trying labour if they had undergone one Caesarean.
Professor Caroline de Costa of James Cook University in Cairns believes women who have previously had a Caesarean section should be presented with their options and allowed to make their own decision.
"They should be as well informed as possible, consider all the information and make the decision, with their partner, as to what they want to have," she said.
"Look at the risks and benefits of both options. If they feel they are being pushed into an option they don't want, seek a second opinion," she added.