If you had your baby via C-section and are pregnant again, it is possible for you to have a choice between a repeat C-section or opting for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). You need to know the VBAC facts to make the best decision.
Research has revealed that many women who opted for VBAC has shown a sixty to eighty percent success rate in having a vaginal delivery.
VBAC isn’t always the right choice for everyone. There are certain risk factors i.e. high-risk uterine scar, that can reduce the likelihood of VBAC, making this an inappropriate selection. Some hospitals don’t cater for VBAC because they don’t have the required resources or staff members to perform emergency C-sections. If you are contemplating going for a VBAC, your health provider can offer you guidance about whether you are a suitable candidate and the procedures involved.
In this article, we are looking at VBAC facts that can assist you in deciding whether this is a viable option for you or not.
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What are the reasons why women consider VBAC?
If you have a VBAC recovery time is much faster. Your hospital stay will be shorter after a VBAC as opposed to having a C-section. Not undergoing surgery can help you get back to your normal activities sooner as well as reduce the expense associated with childbirth.
Expanding your options
An impact on upcoming pregnancies
If you have your heart set on having a large family, VBAC may help circumvent risks associated with multiple C-section deliveries like scarring. Scarring can cause issues with additional surgery and escalate the risk of placental issues in pregnancy.
A reduced risk of complications during surgery
When you’re having a vaginal delivery the risk of complications such as bleeding, clotting in one or more deep veins, infection and causing injury to abdominal organs (bladder or bowel) are significantly lower.
How do you know if you’re a candidate for VBAC?
These factors determine whether you are a candidate for VBAC
- You are expecting one baby and you have a history of previous low transverse C-sections and have no other issues that would stand in the way of VBAC.
- You are pregnant with one infant and had one C-section previously with unfamiliar type of uterine cut and have no problems that could prevent VBAC. (Unless it is assumed that you had a high vertical uterine cut previously).
- You are expecting twins, have only had one low transverse C-section before and are otherwise a good candidate for delivering twins vaginally.
When are you not a suitable candidate for VBAC?
You can’t have VBAC if you’ve had:
- A high vertical uterine incision previously.
- An unfamiliar type of uterine incision previously and it’s assumed that it was a high vertical incision.
- A uterine rupture previously.
- Specific types of uterine surgery previously such as fibroid removal.
In some cases, health providers will not offer VBAC if you’ve previously had more than two C-sections. If you’re expecting triplets or higher order multiples, then a VBAC won’t be an option.
Factors that lowers the likelihood of VBAC
- Delayed labor
- Higher maternal age
- Pregnancies that are longer than 40 weeks
- A body mass exceeding or equal to 40 (maternal obesity)
- Extreme weight gain during the pregnancy
- Delivered a baby previously within eighteen months
- A history of two or more C-section deliveries with no vaginal deliveries
- A requisite labor induction
While a VBAC has less complications than an elective caesarean, an unsuccessful trial of labor after caesarean (TOLAC) can cause extra complications such as a uterine rupture. In the event of our uterus tearing open during labor, an emergency C-section must be performed to prevent life-threatening complications such as heavy bleeding in the mother. If the rupture is intricate or in order to stop the bleeding, the uterus may need to be removed entirely (hysterectomy). After a hysterectomy you won’t be able to conceive again.
VBAC risks are a big concern for many expecting parents.
How To Prepare For VBAC
If you had a C-section before and are pregnant again, be sure to bring up VBAC during your first prenatal visit. Make sure your doctor has your entire medical history, including the records of your previous caesarean and uterine procedures. It is vital to discuss the benefits and risks of VBAC with your doctor throughout the pregnancy, particularly if specific risk factors arise.
Bettering your odds with VBAC by:
- Learning about VBAC and attending childbirth classes on VBAC.
- Planning to delivery your baby at a well-resourced hospital, particularly one that is well-equipped for handling emergency C-sections.
- Allowing labor to onset naturally if possible. Induced or augmented labor can lower the likelihood of VBAC.
- Being flexible. Certain complications of pregnancy or labor necessitate a C-section for instance, if you’re having an issue with the umbilical cord or the placenta, the baby is in an unusual position or labor isn’t progressing as it should.
What You Can Expect
If you’ve opted for VBAC, you will go through the same process when you go into labor as with any vaginal delivery. Your doctor will probably recommend ongoing monitoring of the baby’s heart rate and be on standby to do a repeat C-section if need be.
Helpful products on learning more about VBAC
- Give birth a chance: A book on how to prepare for an empowered VBAC – Ilia Blanding
If you have a deep desire to have a vaginal birth after having a C-section previously but you’re not sure where to begin and what you should consider, then you can learn more about what to expect and more facts about VBAC in this book.
Give Birth a chance is a powerful guide to prepare yourself for an empowered labor experience irrespective if you’ve had a C-section previously or not.
- Vaginal birth after a caesarean
An audio CD about – A hypnobirthing for a VBAC birth in hospital or birth centre.
Now that you have all the VBAC facts you need you will be much better able to make an informed decision for the birth of your baby.