First in Nation - VBAC and Placenta Accreta Center of Excellence | Tampa General Hospital

First in Nation - VBAC and Placenta Accreta Center of Excellence

TGH Is First in Nation to Receive Dual Recognition for Two Key Maternal Health Programs: VBAC and Placenta Accreta

TGH is first in the nation to receive dual recognition for two key maternal health programs. The Maternal Safety Foundation has recognized TGH as a Maternal Center of Excellence in vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) and placenta accreta.

“Mothers who choose to give birth at TGH expect the very best and safest care, and that’s why we’re so pleased to receive this recognition from the Maternal Safety Foundation,” said Dr. Judette Louis, Chief, TGH Women’s Institute, Professor and Chair, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Dr. Louis, who is a specialist in high-risk obstetrics and an associate professor in Obstetrics and Gynecology at USF Health, said this designation will help women make more informed decisions about where to deliver. “We’re proud to be the first in the United States to be named as a Center of Excellence for both placenta accreta and vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). It highlights our expertise in the full spectrum of care for women who have had prior cesarean deliveries.”

The TGH Women’s Institute has a long tradition of providing expert, patient-centered care from nurses, physicians and midwives. The highly specialized VBAC and Placenta Accreta Center of Excellence will provide the same quality of care to all families, from those with no birth complications to highly acute pregnancies. The hospital’s Jennifer Leigh Muma Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and its close affiliation with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine means that mothers, babies and families always have world-class medical care.

The Maternal Safety Foundation offers the Maternal Centers of Excellence Accreta Center of Excellence and VBAC Center of Excellence as voluntary recognition programs with a goal of helping patients and families find safe, risk- appropriate care. The Foundation Advisory Board’s decision to target accreta as an area of focus is data-driven: The number of women giving birth after a previous cesarean in the United States is 600,000 — or 15 percent — annually.

As a VBAC Center of Excellence, TGH is recognized for helping patients with a previous cesarean identify safe, risk-appropriate and supportive options for vaginal birth. Many women choose vaginal birth because it is a surgery- free option.

Placenta accreta is a serious complication of pregnancy that occurs when the placenta grows too deeply into the wall of the uterus. Although it used to be uncommon, the condition has increased an estimated 400 percent in the past four decades alongside the increase in cesarean section births. A woman’s risk for developing this condition increases according to the number of previous cesarean births.

“For many women, a vaginal delivery is the safest way to give birth. Women should have a voice and be able to share in the decision-making at delivery and that’s why we have worked so hard to make sure expectant mothers can make this health care choice at TGH,” Dr. Louis said. Florida has historically had one of the highest rates annually of primary and repeat cesarean births, according to the Maternal Safety Foundation.

“In states like Florida, with high primary cesarean birth rates, it is imperative that hospitals and health systems take the lead in ensuring safe, high-quality care options for patients with a previous cesarean,” said Jill Arnold, founder of the Maternal Safety Foundation. “We are happy to honor TGH for both its expertise in managing complicated placenta accreta births as well as safe, preference-sensitive care for patients with a previous cesarean who wish to be supported in giving
birth vaginally.”

The Maternal Safety Foundation has recognized TGH as a Maternal Center of Excellence for both VBAC and placenta accreta.