VBAC: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean


What is VBAC?

Although it sounds complicated, VBAC means a vaginal birth after a previous Cesarean delivery. If you have had a C-Section the first time around you will be considered as eligible for a vaginal delivery next time around (VBAC) after considering certain parameters.

What makes you suitable for a VBAC?

If you’ve had a previous vaginal delivery, you are suitable for a VBAC. Also, if you’ve had a Caesarean delivery for non-recurring reasons like fetal distress or malposition as well, you’re suitable for a VBAC now.

VBAC guidelines:

  • The previous C-Sec incision was a low transverse uterine incision instead of a vertical one or T-Shaped one
  • Your pelvis is large enough to allow the baby to pass through safely
  • You have not had a prior extensive uterine surgery
  • You have not had a uterine rupture
  • You have no medical complications (placenta previa or large fibroid)
  • There are enough medical professionals present to perform an emergency C-Sec

What makes a VBAC risky?

VBAC risks:

  • Older age
  • Overweight
  • High birth weight baby
  • Gestation period beyond 40weeks
  • A short time gap between pregnancies

Benefits of having a VBAC:

  • You are avoiding a major abdominal surgery and its associated risks like excessive bleeding, infections, organ damage, etc.
  • It ensures a shorter stay at the hospital which is beneficial with one kid at home. It also makes recovery easier and a little more comfortable than that after a C-Sec
  • If you intend to have more children, a C-Sec increases risks of Placenta Previa and Placenta Accreta in the future pregnancies. These can cause life-threatening bleeding or warrant a hysterectomy

Remember a successful VBAC is less risky than a scheduled repeat C-Sec. An unsuccessful VBAC which needs an unplanned C-Sec after the onset of labour is more risky than a scheduled C-Sec.

Finding a gynaecologist though who supports the idea of a VBAC will be a small challenge so look around and enquire thoroughly.