If you’ve had a C-section with one or more of your past pregnancies, you may be wondering if a VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) might be an option for you in the future. But what exactly is a VBAC and how do you know if it’s right for you?
A VBAC is just as the name describes: when a woman has a vaginal birth after having a previous C-section or more than one C-section. In some cases, a VBAC might happen spontaneously, like when a woman simply goes into labor and delivers before a surgery can be arranged, but in many other cases, a woman chooses a VBAC on purpose.
Historically, women who had a C-section were required to have a C-section for any subsequent births after the C-section, period. It didn’t matter what she wanted, it didn’t matter if she was low-risk, and it didn’t matter if she couldn’t afford the C-section. Doctors believed that the risk of trying to have a vaginal delivery after a C-section was far too great because of the scar tissue from the C-section. If the scar tissue burst, both the woman and the baby could die very quickly.
Now, however, as C-section technology has advanced, the risk of a serious complication like a uterine rupture has drastically decreased and women’s health organizations like the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecology support VBACs as a medically safe and advantageous form of delivery for women and babies alike.
Why would a woman choose a VBAC?
A woman might choose to have a VBAC for several reasons: she might simply want to experience having a vaginal birth, she may wish to have a different type of birth for both her and her baby, or she may want to avoid having surgery, along with all of the physical recovery that a C-section brings. A vaginal birth that does not have any complications is also a much more affordable option than a surgical birth.