What do we understand by VBAC? Simply put, VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) is when a pregnant woman, who once delivered her previous baby through a Caesarean section surgery, now wants to have a vaginal birth for her following baby. So VBAC is choosing to deliver or give birth through the vagina after giving birth through the Caesarean section before.
Though the dangers and benefits of choosing to use a particular birth method for a pregnant mom are solely dependent on her body’s systems, the state or conditions of her pregnancy records, and current health, no birth method has proven to be significantly better or worse than the other. With the proper utilization of available and professional medical help, an expectant mother can still feel choosing a preferred delivery method. However, this is not to say there have not been unwanted complications and accidents during childbirth procedures when it comes to giving birth either by Caesarean section or through the vagina. So many women have been having their babies either through the use of the Birth By Vaginal Method or the C-section Surgical Procedure. However in this case, what if a woman who had had a single or a couple of birth by C-section procedures wishes to have a vaginal birth for the first time? What are the possible dangers that may be in it for her? And most importantly is it even possible or safe for her to do a VBAC procedure?
As previously stated, the possibility of a woman successfully pulling through the VBAC procedure is solely reliant on whether her overall body health and conditions can accommodate such.
According to Mayoclinic.org, many women have actually been candidates for a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC). In 2013 for instance, the success rate for women in the U.S. who attempted a trial of labor (TOLAC) after one previous cesarean was 70%. Yet, the decision to undergo a VBAC procedure can be very tricky to achieve due to the ‘breaking away from birthing norm’ the woman involved is trying to do.
Still, the choice to pursue VBAC or schedule a repeat C-section can be difficult. Compared with having another C-section, a vaginal delivery involves no surgery, none of the possible complications of the surgery, a shorter hospital stay, and a quicker return to normal daily activities. VBAC might also be appealing if you want to experience vaginal childbirth. Thus, It is very important for the woman involved to consider future pregnancies along this line too. If you’re planning for more pregnancies, VBAC might help you avoid the risks of multiple cesarean deliveries, such as placental problems.
GUIDELINES ON THINKING OF MAKING A VBAC DECISION
- The very first important step is consulting with your doctor or care provider. If you’re considering VBAC, it will definitely be the wisest idea to go discuss the medical options available for your body, your expectations, and the fears you might have concerning VBAC with your presiding doctor or health care provider early in the pregnancy. Though it would be better if the doctor or health care provider in question has been the one handling your births, or the first one you’ve had. This is because he or she would already know how safe your decision about having a VBAC procedure is going to be due because the physician already has foreknowledge of your birth experience and how it would likely turn out. But in case it is another obstetrician or doctor that will be attending to you, it is best to ensure that he or she has your complete medical history, records of your previous C-section births, and any other uterine procedures. With all this information, the new physician or health care provider would be able to make a good calculation on the likelihood that you will have a successful Vaginal Birth After a Caesarean section procedure like you wanted.
- How well equipped is the hospital or clinic you would like to use? It is for a fact that a hospital can only be as suitable, safe, and good as the medical facilities it can have. Assuming you already have good health insurance and money for the necessary medical expenses, how up to date are the maternity facilities of the hospital you intend to use? Also, is the hospital equipped to handle an emergency C-section should the VBAC procedure fail? All these kinds of questions and more should be asked before proceeding. You can continue discussing the risks and benefits of VBAC throughout pregnancy with your physician, especially if certain risk factors arise.
- Above all, try to be flexible with your thoughts and choices. The circumstances of your labor could make VBAC a clear choice or, after counseling, you and your health care provider might decide that a repeat C-section would be best after all. Considering the antecedents that you must have experienced during your first birth should be a major basis for your subsequent decision on VBAC. No matter how firm you are with your thoughts on the procedure, it is very important to note if you haven’t had any history of birth complications before.
The bottom line is whatever method you choose, do your research and trust your body. Each method has pros/cons. Discuss your decision with your Health care provider or work with your doula to help with advocating if necessary. I will never forget when my Dr told me that I could’ve had a VBAC instead of the repeat C-section because my body was prepared for it.
- The International Cesarean Awareness Network’s local chapters can help you find information about hospitals and caregivers who support VBAC. You can find your local chapter here.
- A Woman’s Guide to VBAC offers support for decision-making about VBAC versus repeat cesarean section, based on guidance from the National Institutes of Health.
Peer Support for C-section/VBAC:
The International Cesarean Awareness Network coordinates local chapters for women to discuss C-section experience. You can find your local chapter here.