When you begin nearing the end of your pregnancy, you're excited about meeting your baby, but you may be a little anxious about labor, especially if you are having a vaginal birth after a cesarean (VBAC). These days, VBACs are getting more common as the types and sizes of incisions used in C-sections make it possible to deliver vaginally without complications. If you are going to have a VBAC, however, you might not know how or when your labor will begin. It's normal to be worried, and you may be wondering, will I be induced for a VBAC?
Romper spoke with Dr. Eva Martin, founder of Elm Tree Medical, who says that there is definitely no need for inducing with a VBAC. “If you go into labor naturally, that's wonderful,” she says, explaining that inducing medications, like Pitocin, are designed to increase the strength and frequency of contractions. So if you begin to have contractions on your own, there won’t really be a need for getting induced.
On the other hand, if you go past your due date, or if complications arise, you may need to be induced. “After 41 weeks, women are generally offered an induction of labor to get things started,” says Martin, “since continuing the pregnancy past 41 to 42 weeks is linked to increased risks for the baby.” This way, your labor is induced to avoid post-term complications.
According to VBAC Facts, inducing can increase the chances of rupture, so natural and spontaneous labor is usually preferred with a VBAC. But if there is a medical reason, like preeclampsia, placental complications, infection, or high blood pressure, a gentle Pitocin or Foley catheter induction may be the best option. If the type or severity of complications call for it, the website explained, some women may even need a repeat C-section.
It’s important to remember that every woman and every pregnancy is different, so the questions and answers surrounding your labor will differ, too. If you are concerned or have questions about your VBAC, talk to your doctor and health care team thoroughly. Get the information and answers you need to make the thought of your labor less stressful, so you can concentrate on having the birth you want. (And all the sleepless nights coming your way.)