If you’re a mother who wants more kids, and you previously opted for a C-section for an earlier delivery, you may be considering a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).Many women want this and, contrary to what was often recommended by doctors in the past, it’s very possible. It may very well lessen the complications of those associated with surgery, and it may also shorten recovery time.
Many women who’ve had a C-section want to deliver naturally with their next child. It’s possible, and some women aren’t even aware. If you’re pregnant now or want to become pregnant in the future, and you’re wondering if a VBAC is possible, here’s some more information.
In the past, the “normal” assumption made by OBGYNs and other professionals was that the safest option for pregnant women who had previously undergone C-sections was another C-section.
These days, some 60-80 percent of women are able to have a successful VBAC, even if they have had one or more C-sections in the past.
A VBAC isn’t possible for everyone, however. The risk factors, to some extent, depend on a woman’s unique risk profile as well as what type of assessment is done by the OBGYN or midwife. To learn more about if you’re a good candidate for a VBAC, you can read our blog about it here.
Planning Ahead to Determine if VBAC is an Option for This Pregnancy
Recovery from C-sections can be lengthy for a number of reasons, including complications having to do with scar tissue. Because of this, one of the critical planning recommendations for those who are looking for a non-C-section birth the second time around is that you space the births out with enough time for recovery.
You’re a good candidate if previous deliveries and current signs point to a safe vaginal delivery. For instance, if you have had a baby vaginally in the past, and your current baby is in a head-down position, VBAC could be a good option for your next delivery.
However, if your last C-section was recent, if you have a large baby, if your previous C-section took place due to certain medical reasons, if you are carrying multiples, if you have a uterine scar, or if your baby is expected to be delivered in an unusual position, VBAC will not be recommended.
Your Current Health and Birth History
No matter what is happening with your pregnancy, taking care of your health is of utmost importance and is the best way to ensure that your delivery is safe and healthy. Thus, it’s vital that you do what you can through lifestyle and diet to stay in good shape.
However, it’s also important to recognize some factors that could put you at risk in the case of a VBAC are not your fault, so if you find out you don’t qualify, don’t be hard on yourself.
The most important thing is to keep track of your birth history and discuss options before you have your first baby about whether or not a C-section is optional.
Obesity, blood pressure, and stress are a few key factors determining the outcome of any pregnancy and delivery, as well as the health of the mother, so always take extra care if you are pregnant or wanting to conceive.
If You Have Uterine Ruptures
Uterine scar ruptures need to be understood and examined in the case of VBACs. Though most cesarean incisions are not likely to rupture and affect births in the future, it’s essential that you have this discussion with your medical professional.
Uterine ruptures are possible and are a key reason why it’s recommended that women do not have VBACs. However, there is less than a one percent chance that this will happen.
When it comes to VBACs, the truth is that not all healthcare practitioners will be supportive of this type of practice. It’s encouraged to turn to support groups in your area or even online, find prenatal VBAC classes, and seek out other people in the same situation for support.
However, if you have the support of a trusted midwife or doula, as well as other healthcare professionals, you will be able to receive proper guidance and support when it comes to your VBAC.
Would you like to learn more about VBACs and how to improve your chances of having this type of delivery? Contact us today and schedule an appointment with an OBGYN to learn more about VBAC and your options for delivery.