Essential Information About VBACS

By Kaci Dyson

August 27, 2020

L&D RN/Wife/Mom of two on a MISSION to make MOM-ING EASIER. Prenatal & Childbirth Educator/Sleep Training/Lactation Counselor in San Angelo, TX

Hey there Mama, I see you!!  You want a vaginal delivery so bad.  Maybe your birth plan did not go as planned last go around and now you are wondering if vaginal birth is even an option for you. It is not uncommon to feel this way, as many women want to experience labor.  I believe knowledge is power and every person deserves to be well informed of all their options. So let’s check it out!

If you’ve had a previous c-section birth you potentially have 2 options: a repeat c-section or trial of labor after cesarean Section (TOLAC) with the goal of having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). Often TOLAC is an appropriate choice for many women, however there are many factors to look at before choosing this as an option for you.

Here are a few important things to take into consideration when thinking of attempting a VBAC:

  • Why did you have a C-Section to begin with? Was it a variable cause? Usually, there is no reason to expect the same issue again, however, it could happen.

  • How many C-sections have you had? The more c-sections you’ve had the higher your chances are for placental issues or having the scar tear open (uterine rupture).  According to ACOG if you’ve had 2 c-sections or less, the trial of labor is seen as a safe option.

  • Do you have a vertical or transverse scar on your uterus? Depending on the direction of the scar on your uterus, your chances of having a uterine rupture could be higher.  Ask your doctor about your incision.  If you are switching providers, it is very important to get a copy of your records for your new doctor.

  • How many pregnancies do you plan on having? The more c-sections you have, the more scar tissue your uterus has potentially causing issues for future pregnancies.

  • How long ago was your last pregnancy?

  • Have you had a previous successful vaginal delivery? One of the greatest predictors of a successful VBAC is having a previous vaginal delivery.

  • Is your hospital equipped for dealing with TOLAC/VBACs?

  • Do you have any health concerns indicating the need for a c-section?

  • What do you want and why?

These are all questions you can and should discuss with your doctor. Together you both can weigh the pros and cons specific to you.  Some doctors will not perform VBACs at all, and that is OK.  It does not mean you are not a candidate, it only means you may need to find a provider that is comfortable allowing you to try.

VBACs have many benefits. Some of which include:

  • No major abdominal surgery

  • Less Recovery Time

  • Lower Risk of Infection

  • Decreased risks with future pregnancies

  • Less bleeding

  • Greater Bonding/Participation at delivery

  • Lower Costs

  • Shorter Hospital Stays

Risks of VBACs are:

  • Uterine rupture: although this is rare this is very serious! As it can harm both you and your baby, and even cause death.

  • You may still end up needing a C-section due to failed TOLAC or other issues that can occur during the labor process.  All laboring mamas have the chance of needing a c-section.

  • Increased risk of infection if TOLAC fails and Repeat Cesarean section occurs.

  • May still be at risk for postpartum hemorrhage.

Whatever decision you make, make it an informed one.  You got this, Mama!  As always, we are here for you here at The Mama Coach.  Please reach out, we would love to support you in your journey to and through motherhood.

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