The old thinking was once a c section, always a c section. This is no longer the case. VBAC is a possibility for many women. VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean. This is a possibility for many women who have undergone a c section in the past.
There are many reasons women want to try for a VBAC. Some women may have wanted a vaginal birth the first time, but circumstances made a c section necessary. Some may feel upset over this unexpected turn of events. A few can feel robbed of their birth experience. For these women, wanting a VBAC is emotional.
There are medical benefits as well. A vaginal birth has fewer complications that are associated with c sections, including infection, blood loss and blood clots in the legs. For most women, recovery is easier after a vaginal birth. Breastfeeding may be easier as well.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises doctors to encourage VBAC births for women, providing they meet certain criteria. One consideration is the type of incision used in the previous c section. To be a candidate for VBAC, the incision should be a low transverse incision in the uterus.
Women and doctors often have fears about a vaginal birth after c sections. Many doctors avoid doing VBAC births because they are afraid of uterine rupture. According to the ACOG, the risk of rupture is very low, only about one or two percent, if the previous incision was a low transverse one. There was a greater risk of this in the past due to vertical incisions.
There are things that can be done to reduce the risk:
* Avoid inducing labor
* Avoid using Pitocin or use lesser amounts of the drug to stimulate labor
* Using less pain medicine during delivery and avoiding an epidural. Epidurals increase the risk of needing a c section.
* Exercise throughout the pregnancy
* Prepare for the birth by reading and taking a birth class
In the end, only you and your doctor can decide if a VBAC is right for you. Some doctors are more willing to let you try than others. If you really want a VBAC, seek out a practitioner who advocates and encourages his patients to try. If you really want a vaginal birth, educate yourself about the procedure. Prepare for a natural birth and find a doctor or midwife who will support your decision.