Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)
If you’re pregnant again and your previous child was born through cesarean section, you might question if vaginal birth is a possibility for you this time. Many women can have a vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC), but there are several variables that might help you and your doctor determine if it’s suitable for you.The most important factor to consider is your and your baby’s safety. VBAC is not always safe for all women.If you attempt a vaginal birth and are at high risk of difficulties, it can result in major problems for you and your baby, some of which are life-threatening. That is why you should discuss the dangers with your doctor.
Is a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) safe?
Because a surgical cut leaves a scar on your uterus, there was fear that the pressure of labor may cause the scar to open (rupture). According to the American Pregnancy Association, published research reveal that 60-80% of women who had a cesarean delivery had a healthy vaginal birth in their subsequent pregnancy. Another figure from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development shows that around 75% of VBAC attempts are successful.
What is the risk of uterine rupture if you’ve already had a C-section?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the chance of uterine rupture after a prior C-section with a horizontal (transverse) incision is around 0.9 percent, or slightly less than 1 in 100.
What health issues might arise if my uterus ruptures?
The following hazards exist if your uterus ruptures:
- Loss of blood
- Clots of blood form.
- Damage to the gallbladder.
Advantages of VBAC
The experience of vaginal delivery differs greatly amongst moms. However, vaginal deliveries, especially VBACs, offer certain common advantages for both you and your baby.For example, the majority of vaginal delivering women will:
- recover faster from labor and birth
- have less time in the hospital
- were less likely to require hospitalization in the weeks following birth
- have a reduced need for powerful pain relief following delivery
- be more likely to hug and cuddle their newborns and engage in skin-to-skin contact immediately after birth
- have a greater probability of initiating and maintaining breastfeeding with their children
- be less likely to experience difficulties in subsequent pregnancies
- be more physically capable in caring for their children (and their other children).
Many birthing women report feeling good and pleased after giving birth vaginally. Birthing women who had vaginal births may be happier with their overall birth experiences.Furthermore, kids delivered vaginally are less likely to require time in the special care nursery due to breathing difficulties or other health issues. Babies delivered vaginally have stronger immune systems and are less prone to develop allergies than babies born by caesarean section. This is assumed to be due to hormones produced after vaginal birth as well as the crucial microorganisms newborns acquire during vaginal birth.
VBAC: Potential Drawbacks
If you have a VBAC, your baby’s heart rate will be continuously checked during labor. This may need the use of specialized equipment. The equipment might sometimes make it difficult to move about during labor or to utilize water for pain relief.You also have a slightly increased chance of your uterine scar ripping or rupturing during labor. However, this is a very low risk to begin with; it occurs in just 1 out of every 200 delivering moms who have VBACs. With each caesarean section, the chance of ripping increases somewhat.
Tearing can happen with no warning, and it can significantly impact you and your baby. The rip is frequently repairable. In extremely rare situations, delivering women require a hysterectomy (uterine removal) if they are experiencing heavy bleeding that poses a major risk to their health.The possibility of tearing and associated consequences is why physicians and midwives continuously watch you during VBAC.
VBAC does increase the probability of an unexpected (emergency) caesarean section. This may occur if the monitoring indicates that your baby is in trouble or if your labor is prolonged, putting more strain on your scar. Furthermore, an unanticipated caesarean might cause greater complications than a planned (elective) caesarean. Infection and excessive bleeding are among the issues.
The likelihood of a successful VBAC
Your odds of having a successful VBAC are determined by several factors, including your health and the cause for your prior caesarean delivery. If you’ve previously had a vaginal delivery and had a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, your chances of a successful VBAC increase.
A happy and comfortable birth environment, as well as caregivers and support persons, can boost your chances of having a vaginal delivery.Continuous assistance during labor may make you feel more at ease and calm. This might include assistance from a known midwife, a close support person, or a doula.
It’s also a good idea to attend particular VBAC workshops so you know what to anticipate. You may be able to take VBAC lessons online.