If you've already had a Caesarean delivery, and are wanting to have a vaginal delivery for your next baby, there are some things to keep in mind.
According to the Mayo Clinic, 60-80 percent of women who try VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarean) have a successful vaginal delivery.
If you're considering having a VBAC delivery, here are some key factors your doctor will look at to determine if that delivery method is right for you:
- What type of uterine incision was used for the prior C-section? Though rare, scars left from these incisions are at risk of tearing during labor and delivery. A T- or J-shaped incision, used only in emergencies or when problems develop, have a greater risk of tearing and oftentimes prevent VBAC from being an option.
- Have you had previous vaginal deliveries? At least one vaginal delivery increases your chances at a successful VBAC.
- What prompted the C-section? If it was due to an infection or because the baby didn't descend through the birth canal, then VBAC is still an option because that may not be the case for this pregnancy, but if yor cervix didn't dilate enough, it's possible that could happen again and you'd have to end up doing an emergency C-section.
- How many Caesareans have you had? The more you've had, the greater the risk for a uterine rupture.
- Are you having multiples? VBAC is definitely doable for twins, but if you're having three or more, it can get complicated.
- Have you had a uterine rupture? If so, you're not a candidate for VBAC.
- Do you have any health conditions that might affect a vaginal delivery? Conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease may make a vaginal delivery to risky for you and your baby.
- Is the facility in which you are delivering fully equipped to handle an emergency C-section? Because of the risks, an emergency C-section may have to happen and you want to make sure your hospital can handle it.
Have you had a VBAC or attempted one? What was your experience like?