One of the reasons many mothers dread having a C-section delivery is because they assume they will have to always opt for cesarean delivery. However, there are many women who are candidates for a vaginal birth after a C-section. This is known as VBAC and has certain criteria, pros, and cons that we will be discussing in the article below.
If you’ve had a C-section and would like to have a vaginal birth, here’s everything you need to know about VBAC birth:
What is VBAC?
VBAC stands for vaginal birth after C-section. This allows you to give birth without having to undergo another surgery.
Benefits of Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC)
When considering a VBAC, you need to be aware of the pros and cons of having a VBAC delivery. Here are the benefits of having a successful vaginal delivery after a C-section:
- You can avoid having an abdominal surgery
- You can recover from a vaginal birth faster than a C-section
- The risk of infections is reduced
- Minimal blood loss
What are the risks of (VBAC) Vaginal Birth After Cesarean?
If it’s possible to have a VBAC, then why doesn’t every mother opt for it? That’s because there are risks of mothers undergoing an unsuccessful VBAC which could lead to complications and risks such as blood loss, infection, or risks of the previous C-section scar rupturing or even a 1% risk of a uterus rupture.
How to determine if you’re a candidate for VBAC
There are many factors that determine whether you can have a VBAC or not. Before you consider it and put yourself and your baby at risk, be sure to ask your doctor the following questions:
- What type of uterine incision was used for the prior C-section?
Depending on the type of uterine incision you had during your first C-section, you’ll be able to determine whether you can have a VBAC delivery or not. If you’ve had a low transverse incision or low vertical incision, then you’ll most likely be eligible for a VBAC. However, if you’ve had a high vertical or classical incision, you could face risks of uterine rupture and a VBAC is best to be avoided.
- Have you ever had a uterine rupture?
If you have, then the risk of it happening again is high. In this case, you are not a candidate for VBAC.
- Have you had other uterine surgeries?
If you’ve had surgery on your uterus such as fibroid, VBAC could lead to the risk of uterine rupture.
- Have you had vaginal deliveries?
Even if it was before your C-section delivery, a previous vaginal birth increases your chances of a successful VBAC.
- When was your last delivery?
If you’ve attempted a VBAC in the past 18 months, then the risks of uterine rupture increase.
- Do you have any health issues that could affect vaginal delivery?
If you have placental problems or your baby is in an abnormal position or you’re pregnant with more than one child, you should opt for a C-section to avoid any complications.
- How many C-sections have you had?
If you’ve had more than two C-sections, then your health care provider will probably recommend that you continue down the same route.
- Where will you have your baby delivered?
The hospital you choose needs to be equipped with an emergency C-section if you’re considering VBAC. However, home delivery is not recommended.
- How is a VBAC delivery different from normal delivery?
A VBAC process follows the same procedure as a regular vaginal birth. However, your baby’s heart rate will be monitored throughout the whole time to ensure an emergency C-section isn’t needed.
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Sources used in this article:
- Vaginal Birth After C section – Mayo Clinic
- VBAC pros and cons – Mayo Clinic
- Can I have a vaginal birth after C section? – Web MD