Vaginal birth after cesarean is when a woman who has previously had a cesarean delivery attempts to deliver vaginally with or without medical interventions.
There is a lot of debate surrounding vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC. Some people feel that it is the best choice for mothers and their babies, while others believe that it is too risky. In this blog post, we will discuss the risks and benefits of VBAC to help you make an informed decision about whether or not it is right for you.
What is Vaginal Birth After a Cesarean?
VBAC is when a woman who has previously had a cesarean delivery attempts to deliver vaginally. This can be done either with or without the use of medical interventions such as Pitocin.
Reasons for VBAC
There are several reasons why a woman may choose to attempt a VBAC. For some, it is because they want to avoid the risks associated with another cesarean delivery.
Cesarean deliveries are major surgery, and there are potential complications that can arise from them, such as infection, hemorrhage, blood clots, and even death. Additionally, recovery from a cesarean delivery is typically longer and more difficult than recovery from vaginal birth.
Another reason why a woman may opt for a VBAC is that she wants to experience the natural process of childbirth. Some women feel that they missed out on this experience with their first child and want to try for it with their second (or third, fourth, etc.).
There are also medical reasons why a woman may attempt a VBAC. In some cases, cesarean delivery may be recommended due to the position of the baby, placenta previa, or other factors. However, if the woman goes into labor before her scheduled cesarean delivery date, she may attempt a VBAC instead.
Reasons Against VBAC
There are also several reasons why a woman may choose not to attempt a VBAC. The most common reason is fear of uterine rupture. This is a serious complication that can occur during labor in women who have previously had a cesarean delivery, and it can lead to the death of both the mother and the baby.
Additionally, some doctors may not be comfortable performing a VBAC due to the potential risks involved. In these cases, they may recommend that the woman schedule a repeat cesarean delivery.
Benefits of VBAC
VBAC can offer many benefits for both mother and baby. For mothers, VBAC can help avoid the need for a repeat cesarean delivery and its associated risks.
Additionally, VBAC may help reduce the risk of certain complications, such as infection. And, because vaginal deliveries generally require less recovery time than cesarean deliveries, mothers who opt for VBAC may be able to return home and resume normal activities more quickly.
As for babies, VBAC may lower the risk of certain complications, such as respiratory distress syndrome and neonatal intensive care unit admission. Additionally, VBAC may help reduce the risk of certain long-term health problems, such as asthma and obesity.
Risks of VBAC
Although VBAC is generally safe, there are some risks associated with it. These include:
- Uterine rupture: This is a rare but serious complication that can occur when the scar from previous c-section tears during labor. This can lead to life-threatening complications for both mother and baby.
- Infection: Women who have VBACs are at a slightly higher risk of developing an infection after delivery.
- Blood loss: There is a small risk of excessive blood loss after a VBAC. This can usually be controlled with medication or a transfusion, if necessary.
Overall, the risks of VBAC are low. However, it’s important to discuss these risks with your doctor before deciding whether or not to attempt a vaginal birth after a cesarean.
If you do decide to try for a VBAC, there are some things you can do to increase your chances of success. These include:
- Choosing a care provider who is supportive of VBACs
- Having a strong support system in place during labor
- Staying informed and educated about the risks and benefits of VBACs
With the right preparation and support, many women can successfully have a vaginal birth after a cesarean. If you’re considering this option, be sure to talk to your doctor to see if it’s right for you.
How do you know if having a VBAC is right for you?
You’re more likely to have a successful VBAC if:
- You’ve had a vaginal birth before.
- You have had a c-section for a non-recurring reason, such as a breech presentation.
- Your labor begins on its own.
- Your baby is at a healthy weight.
- You have good support during labor.
Your chances of having a successful VBAC are worse if:
- You’ve had multiple c-sections.
- Your previous c-section was for a recurring reason, such as a narrow pelvis or placenta previa.
- You have a medical condition that makes vaginal birth too risky, such as uncontrolled diabetes, preeclampsia, and obesity.
- Your due date has passed, or you’ve been inducted into labor.
- You have a big baby.
- You’re older than 35 or a race other than white.
- You’ve had a uterine rupture in a previous pregnancy.
- You’ve had various types of surgery on your uterus.
How do I prepare for a VBAC?
If you’re interested in pursuing a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), there are some things you can do to increase your chances of successful vaginal delivery.
First, it’s important to find a care provider that supports your decision to attempt a VBAC. Get regular prenatal visits. You’ll also need to be sure that you are physically and emotionally ready for labor. Finally, it’s helpful to have a clear understanding of the risks and benefits of VBAC.
So, what is the best choice for you? Ultimately, this decision should be made between you and your doctor. Be sure to discuss all of the risks and benefits before making a decision.