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VBAC After a Cesarean Section

In the past, if a woman delivered a baby through cesarean section she had no choice for her next delivery other than another c-section. There was no chance she could try to deliver vaginally as the risks were just too high. However, with the advances in medicine, women have the option of trying a VBAC, or a vaginal birth after c-section provided there are no complications and the hospital is equipped for potential problems. In fact, the success rate is now close to 60-80 percent for women who opt for a VBAC.

Many women want to try for a VBAC for a variety of reasons. For many women, a vaginal delivery is desired because they feel more involved in the birth. They are able to hold the baby sooner and can breastfeed right away. Another reason for choosing a VBAC is the shorter recovery time after a vaginal delivery. And, there are fewer complications than with a c-section. There is also the possibility that the woman wants more babies. A successful VBAC increases the chances for each subsequent pregnancy to be delivered vaginally.

However, there are certain factors that will need to be assessed to see whether she is eligible to try for a VBAC.

The chances for a VBAC are much higher if the woman only has one low uterine scar running transverse. This is the most common scar from a c-section. Other factors include having a healthy pregnancy with both baby and mom having no complications, and if the reason for the past c-section is not a factor this time. And, labor needs to begin on or before the due date naturally. If a woman goes past her due date or the baby is large, a VBAC won’t be considered. That applies also if she has had more than one c-section and no vaginal deliveries or she is considered obese.

The health professional will weigh all factors including risk for the woman before making any decision, but thanks to the advances in surgical technique, there are more options and chances for a woman to have a successful VBAC.

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