Once upon a time, if you were a mom who delivered a baby through a C-section, you were told you would never be able to have a vaginal delivery in the future. But luckily, with the advances in medical techniques and technologies, moms who have delivered via surgery now have the ability to have a vaginal birth after a C-section, otherwise known as a VBAC. If you're looking for a new kind of delivery, you may be wondering how to have a VBAC, what the risks are, and whether or not you are a good candidate.
According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), 90 percent of women who have had C-sections in the past can be candidates for a successful VBAC. The APA further explained that the biggest risk associated with a VBAC is uterine rupture, and that if you have had more than two low transverse Cesarean deliveries, previous uterine scars or ruptures, or other medical issues that were responsible for your previous C-sections, you may not be an ideal candidate for a VBAC.
One of the biggest factors in evaluating whether or not you are a good candidate for a VBAC is the type of incision used in your C-section. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), low transverse incisions have the least chance of rupture, while high vertical incisions have the highest chance of rupture.
Even though the ACOG has eased restrictions and made more flexible guidelines for VBACs, many doctors and hospitals still shy away from them. Some may do it because C-sections are more profitable, and some may do it out of fear of complications, but it is important to know how and why your doctor is making their decision. If you are considering a VBAC, talk to your doctor first and ask as many relevant questions as you can. It's important to know your own medical history extensively, as well as the risks involved with having a VBAC.
If you find that your doctor is apprehensive, and not giving you the support you need, Improving Birth suggested finding a VBAC-supportive doctor. You should conduct background research on doctors and hospitals by calling and asking for their statistics and attitude towards VBACs, and by reaching out to VBAC-supportive organizations like The International Cesarean Awareness Network (ICAN), because having an arsenal of information and support is what you'll need for a successful VBAC.
Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different, so it's important to remember that even if your physician gives you the green light on a VBAC, you may still end up having another C-section, depending on your situation. Whether your baby is born via C-section or VBAC, as long as you and the baby remain safe and healthy, that is all that matters.