This is not an option that is recommended, or even available, for all women who have had a C-section. The most important thing to do if you would like to have a VBAC, is to talk to your doctor or midwife about it as an option, since they know your medical history best.
Why consider a VBAC?
- Women may want the experience of giving birth vaginally, and the benefits that accompany it, such as skin-to-skin right after birth
- Typically women have a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker recovery process
- The baby is less likely to have breathing problems that can be associated with C-section deliveries
- There is less risk of infection and typically less blood loss
- Decreased chance of blood clots and chance of injury to the uterus or bladder
- Family/friends, if parents want, can be in the room for the birth
Having a VBAC is safe for most women. One of the greatest risks of having a VBAC is your uterus can rupture, which can be dangerous for both you and the baby. Also, attempting or wanting a vaginal birth does not guarantee that you will actually have one. As with any pregnancy, potential risks or complications can arise at any point in the delivery which will cause you to need to deliver Cesarean.
Factors that are taken into account when considering having a VBAC.
- How the previous C-section was performed – if the cut was low and was side to side, your chances of being able to deliver vaginally are increased. If the cut was vertical, the risk of rupture is usually too high to attempt a vaginal birth
- How many, and how recent, C-sections you have had – if you’ve had more than 2 c-sections, or have had one within 18 months, you have a higher risk of your uterus rupturing
- Length of pregnancy and size of baby – If you are over 40 weeks or it is estimated you have a big baby, your chances of a successful VBAC are decreased
- How your labor is managed at the hospital – There are several factors that affect your chances of a successful VBAC, including whether or not you’ve been induced. If you are attempting a VBAC, then you might have other precautions, such as special monitoring, during labor and delivery. These can help you and your baby have lower risks.
For more information about VBAC and its potential benefits/risks when compared to a Cesarean, you can visit https://intermountainhealthcare.org/ext/Dcmnt?ncid=520670089 or talk with your doctor or midwife.