Delivery Details: The Facts on VBACS

vbacs facts
Image via Mindi Stavish

 

As the due date of my third child quickly approaches, I can't help but feel anxious yet hopeful that I will be able to have another successful VBAC. A VBAC is a vaginal delivery after a previous cesarean section. It is also known as a vaginal trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC). Studies show the success rate of a VBAC is between 60 and 80% and 90% after a mom has had a successful VBAC after c-section. 

With all of this in mind,  I wanted to do a little digging into the risks and benefits of having a VBAC. Here's what I found out:

Risks of VBAC

Uterine Rupture. The biggest risk of a a VBAC is a uterine rupture, which happens in 1% of women who attempt a VBAC.  A uterine rupture is when the scar from the previous c-section opens up during labor.  It can result in catastrophic outcomes for mom and baby.  For mom, a uterine rupture can result in injury to the bladder or damage to the uterus, requiring a hysterectomy and/or blood transfusions.  

A study on VBAC published by the National Institute of Health showed that the risk of uterine rupture is increased if the interval between the time mom had her first c-section to the time that she becomes pregnant again is less than 12 months. The risk of rupture is greatest for a mom that has only had six months between delivery and the next pregnancy. 

{ MORE: 7 Essential Tips To Feel in Control During Childbirth }

Complications for baby. Complications from a uterine rupture for the newborn can result in a lack of oxygen to the brain, also known as anoxic brain injury.  An estimated 4 out of 1,000 babies delivered by VBAC with a uterine rupture will have an anoxic brain injury, which can cause lifelong disabilities of varying severity.

Additionally, the risk of developing an infection of the uterus, skin incision, or bladder doubles if vaginal delivery is attempted but fails, resulting in a cesarean. There is also a risk of blood loss and the need for a blood transfusion. 

{ MORE: What to Pack in Your Hospital Bag for a C-Section Delivery }

Benefits of a VBAC?

  1. Shorter hospital stay.
  2. Easier and faster recovery time after birth.
  3. Less risk of blood loss.
  4. Reduced risk of respiratory issues with baby. 

Factors that Make You a Good Candidate for a VBAC?

  1. Your previous one to two births have been low transverse cesarean deliveries.
  2. You have no history of additional uterine scars, anomalies or ruptures.
  3. You are carrying just one baby.
  4. The baby is a normal size and head down.
  5. The reason for your cesarean section with your first baby is not present with this pregnancy.
  6. You have no major medical problems.

As a mom who has experienced an unplanned, successful VBAC, I can attest to the fact that recovery from labor and delivery with my second child, a VBAC, was much quicker and easier than recovery with my first child, an emergency cesarean section. If you have had a cesarean section with previous births and  are thinking about a VBAC this time around, speak with your OBGYN about it early into your pregnancy. If he or she does not perform the VBAC procedure, but you feel you are a good candidate seek out a second opinion. Be your own advocate and research your delivery options.

Have you or anyone you know had a successful VBAC?  What advice would you offer other mom's who are interested in learning more about the delivery option?  

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What do you think?

Delivery Details: The Facts on VBACS

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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21 comments

  1. Deanna says:

    2 vaginal one section and 2 vbacs second one is due in May going in for a vbac like last time wouldn’t have it any other way.

  2. Jamie says:

    I had a VBAC with my second child and it was the best decision I could’ve made. It allowed me to have the wonderful birth experience I so wanted with my first child. There are some doctors that are against VBAC’s and will use scare tactics in order to deter you from choosing this. When I experienced this I made it very clear that my decision was made & I didn’t appreciate the attempt to scare me. A woman should do her research & know the facts so she can handle any adversity along her path.

  3. denette87 says:

    My mom had two VBACS

  4. Dana says:

    Had an emergency c-section with DS1 on 19MAR11. Successfully VBAC’d on 29APR12 with DS2…currently pregnant with DS3 and due any day now. I will be attempting my second VBAC… I highly recommend a VBAC even if your C/S was performed less than six months before your next pregnancy, if you meet all of the other requirements. Good luck ladies!

  5. Jenifer says:

    I had to have an emergency c-section because my baby was stuck as I tried pushing vaginally, so now I would like to try to have my next vaginally.

  6. MAMASEXXY says:

    I PRAY I NEVER HAVE TO HAVE A C-SECTION.

    • ANNA says:

      i had c section and it was great…i healed very quickly few days on pain medicine and thats it well my friend were also painful few days after vaginal delivery another friend had very bad long natural labour because she was insisting on natural delivery she ripped down there had plenty of stitches they tried to talk her into c-section but she refused …so for two weeks she could barely sit down or sitting on inflatible donut get post partum depression from all this experiance while me after 2 weeks i could run…she resume sex life after 5 months because before it was very painfull and she was very dry..next time when she asked me about my c section experiance and she saw my small scar -she will definietely request elective c section because of long traumatic painfull labour-even epidural stopped working for some reason after she got so many of it…

  7. MAMASEXXY says:

    I want all vaginal births

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  9. I had a successful VBA2C. My first child was born naturally and then my second was breech and way too big to turn so we had him C-section. The next one I really wanted to push for a VBAC but in the middle of the pregnancy we found out we were moving and my dr’s quote for wanting to do a VBAC "that’s like a man putting his hand in a lumber chipper and having it eat his arm off and then wanting to do it again" so yeah no support there. So I had a second this time "elective" c-section. With my fourth I was determined to find a doctor who would let me do what I wanted. I found one- he lived four and a half hours from me but I was determined (he has also delivered over 15,000 babies so I felt very comfortable with him knowing if it was 1) going to work 2) if we needed to switch to a c-section he could do it. Needless to say I had a SUCCESS VBA2C with a TEN pound FIVE ounce baby. And I would NOT trade that for the world, I know some women can’t have vaginal births but I urge any mom who is even thinking of doing a VBAC to try to find a dr who supports your decision. I mean the recovery time was so much faster I almost think the csection is more like wanting to chop your arm off twice. I felt SOO good in only two days.

  10. Angela says:

    I just wanna say that my mother had seven kids. Of those seven, I’m the second oldest. My older brother and I were both c-sections. Enough said. VBAC is obviously possible.

  11. Jamie says:

    Kudos to you for wanting to try a vbac. I had my first natural and my second an emergency c-section, when she was so nice to flip when I was 5cm into labor and broke my water. My third and fourth were successful vbac’s. The recovery is SO much better with natural, in my opinion. I made sure right from the start of each pregnancy to have a Dr. who supported me. The Doctors were wiling to be there earlier in the labor to check on things as I progressed and not just show up at the delivery in case something went wrong, which gave me peace of mind. They also didn’t make me have an epidural just in case something went wrong. Good luck. Hope you can bring a happy health baby into this world however you choose.

  12. Summertime94 says:

    i dont want a csection

  13. wendy hill says:

    My first born (92) was a c-section, My second born (94) was vaginal delivery, no complications.

  14. CASemonis says:

    i hate when doctors tell you can cant have a VBAC. My aunt had 3 C-Sections and her 4th child was VBAC.

  15. MAMASEXXY says:

    I want all vaginal births

  16. hope all goes well during delivery, extremely nervouse !

  17. MAMASEXXY says:

    I PRAY I NEVER HAVE TO HAVE A C-SECTION, I WANT TO HAVE ALL VAGINAL BIRTHS

    • ANNA says:

      well i had c section and it was great///my friend who had long complicated labour and was refusing c section ripped down there had tons of stiches and couldnt sit for two weeks..she got post partum depression and she cpouldnt bond for months with her baby because of this traumatic experiance..believe me its much better c section than long complicated natural delivery with usage of forceps or vacum…not all vaginal births are fast and uncomplicated -she birthed for 40 hours…next time she told me she will request elective c section and she is regretting natural delivery and admitted that she should have listen to doctors when they wanted to talk her into c section….

  18. Everyday says:

    This info knows before

  19. Laura says:

    I have had two c-sections. I am on my third child and want to do the VBAC this time around. I thank you for the information. It is very helpful. I will be talking to my OBGNY about this option.

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