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Choosing Between Vaginal Birth After C-section Or Repeat C-section


What factors may increase my chance of a vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC)?

  • Your C-section incision is in the lower part of your abdomen.
  • You have not had other surgeries on your uterus.
  • You have had a normal pregnancy.
  • You are younger than 40 years.
  • You had more than 1 vaginal delivery.
  • Your labor begins on its own without the help of medicines.

What factors may decrease my chance of a VBAC?

  • Your baby is in the breech position (bottom facing down).
  • You have an infection, such as genital herpes.
  • Your pregnancy is considered high-risk.
  • You had more than 1 C-section.
  • Your baby is 9 pounds or larger.
  • You are past your due date.
  • You are obese, you smoke, or you drink alcohol.

What are some benefits of a vaginal delivery?

  • A fast recovery. You can often go home within a couple of days after delivery. You may have less pain, and it may go away sooner. Your body may recover more quickly. You may be able to return to your daily activities sooner.
  • Fewer risks. Infection and injury to your organs are less likely. The risk of heavy bleeding during your delivery may be less. You may be able to walk around sooner. This may decrease the risk for blood clots.

What are some risks of a VBAC?

The delivery may not go as planned and you may need another C-section. You may bleed more than expected. Blood loss can be dangerous for you and your baby. You may need a hysterectomy.

What are some benefits of a C-section?

  • The date and time of a C-section may be planned ahead. You may be able to arrange it to fit your schedule and the schedules of others. You can also let others know the date and time that your baby will be born.
  • If you want your tubes tied, it may be done at the same time as the C-section. This procedure prevents future pregnancies.

What are some risks of a C-section?

You may bleed more than expected or get an infection. Your organs, such as your bladder or intestine, may be damaged. Your risk for placenta previa is increased if you have had more than 1 C-section. Placenta previa is a condition that causes your placenta to cover your cervix. This can cause bleeding and lead to problems with your unborn baby. You may get a blood clot in your leg. This may become life-threatening.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment. The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

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