Can I Deliver Vaginally After Having A C-Section?

Once friends and family have confirmed that you and your newborn baby are healthy, the conversation often turns to your birth story. Unfortunately, in today's society, the details of whether you delivered vaginally or via C-section can be used to assign you a sort of mommy badge of honor, leaving many women to believe that a vaginal delivery is the more natural, accepted form of delivery. But as you know, even if a vaginal birth is a part of your plan, unforeseen circumstances may leave you no other choice but to have a C-section. If you have undergone a Caesarean in the past and find yourself pregnant again, you may be wondering, can I deliver vaginally after having a C-section?

It was once believed that if you had a Cesarean section, all subsequent pregnancies would need to result in the same procedure. However, recent medical evidence has proven that this is not always the case. A vaginal birth after C-section, or VBAC, is not uncommon, but can come with risks to the mother, according to Parents.

The American Pregnancy Association noted that 90 percent of women who have delivered their babies through Caesarean section are candidates for a VBAC. Factors such as the type of incision you received, the reason for your C-section, and the health of you and your baby are all things doctors must consider when deciding whether or not it is safe for you to undergo a vaginal delivery.

Fit Pregnancy noted that, if you've had previous successful vaginal deliveries, your labor occurs spontaneously, and if the baby's head is positioned down and below the pelvis, you may be considered safe to have a vaginal delivery. Additionally, Baby Center pointed out that VBACs are often deemed unsafe for women who are older, overweight, or carrying a baby who is 8 pounds or more.

If you are going to attempt a VBAC, be sure to confirm that your doctor supports your decision, and can admit you to a hospital that will allow the procedure. As Baby Center mentioned, some hospitals don't want to deal with any legal issues around VBACs and simply avoid them all together.

It's also important to know that even if your doctor determines that it is safe for you to have a vaginal delivery, the VBAC may not work, and you may still have to undergo a C-section. As WebMD points out, approximately four out of 10 women who attempt a VBAC need to have a C-section. The short is answer is that every situation is different, and you should consult closely with your doctor to determine the safest type of delivery. But no matter how your birth story plays out, the most important outcome is the birth of a healthy baby.