Photo by kelli0585
Doctors used to discourage women from having vaginal births after a C-section (VBAC). Thankfully that thinking has changed and vaginal delivery is considered a safe option for many women who have had C-sections (though there are still some VBAC-discouraging docs out there).
But what about if you've had more than one?
While the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) does not recommend vaginal deliveries for women who have had three or more C-sections, a new study says it may be time to change that thinking as well.
The study found that women who have had more than one C-section and want to try a vaginal birth are at no greater risk of complications (such as uterine rupture) than a woman who's had only one previous C-section.
Researchers reviewed the records of 25,000 women at 17 U.S. hospitals who gave birth after having at least one C-section. The group included 860 women with at least three C-sections, 89 of whom attempted a vaginal delivery; the remaining 771 elected to have a repeat C-section. There were no cases of uterine rupture in either group.
The 89 women who chose vaginal delivery had no instances of bladder or bowel injury, or lacerations of the uterine artery.
Worthy of noting: All the women in the study had low transverse incision C-sections (a horizontal cut across the lowest part of the uterus), which have a lower risk of rupture than the "classical" high vertical incision (an up-and-down incision made higher on the uterus).
According to the researchers, another important factor to consider if you're thinking about a VBAC(CC), is whether you've ever given birth vaginally (prior to the C-section birth)—it increases your chances of a VBAC's success.
Have you ever had a VBAC? Are you considering one? Have you ever had a VBAC after several C-sections?