Some providers assume “once a C-Section always a C-Section”. That’s because the scar tissue left on the uterus’ wall from a C-Section is weaker than the uterus itself, resulting in concerns about the uterus rupturing during childbirth.
But (and it’s a big one), a growing body of current research supports Vaginal Birth after C-Section as a good option & safe option for many women. Studies show up to 80% of women who try a VBAC (who are good candidates for VBAC) will be successful birthing vaginally.
Talking through your medical circumstances & history with your provider is important to determine if you are a good candidate for a VBAC. A repeat C-Section still might be the safest option.
Benefits of VBAC (compared to C-Sections)
- Less painful & faster recovery
- A shorter hospital stay
- Less blood loss
- Less risk of infection & injury
- No risk of surgical complications
- Less risk of breathing problems for your baby
- Less risk of future pregnancy complications
Risks of VBAC (compared to C-Sections)
- Uterine rupture- this is when the scar tissue gives way on the uterus wall. The risk is very small, but can be life threatening for baby & mom.
- Risks of having an unplanned cesarean birth if the VBAC is not successful.
If you want to increase the chance of a VBAC
- Talk to your provider. Here is some Evidence showing VBACs are safe options.
- Choose a Doctor or Midwife who fully supports your goal to have a VBAC, not just a provider who says “well, you can try if you want…”
- Have birth support (family, coach, doula)- proven to help.
- If there is no emergency, ask your provider why the C-Section is being recommended?
- Ask what other options you have (waiting longer, moving around during labor, if baby is breech have a skilled caregiver turn baby)?
*We’ve heard some moms frustrated, because they felt their provider encouraged them a “trial” of VBAC, but very quickly recommended a C-Section without the mama or baby being in distress or in any danger. Have the detailed “What’s the game plan” conversation before you’re in labor! Make sure you & your provider are on the same page and run through the scenarios when they will recommend a C-Section. That’s been a regret we’ve heard from moms wanting a VBAC. Some moms felt like the “VBAC rug” was pulled out from under them. They wish they would’ve asked more detailed questions to understand “when & why” a C-Section would be recommended.
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