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A Little Information about Vaginal Births and C-Sections

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My hat’s off to women who desire to have their baby without medicinal assistance. They want to experience childbirth as it was meant to be -- by means of vaginal delivery. What makes this situation a little tricky for some is that they have previously had a C-section but now they want to deliver naturally. Is this possible?

A while back, this would have been impossible, but there have been changes in surgical techniques, so VBAC (vaginal birth after C-section) is very possible. To begin with, some women would not be very good candidates for this type of delivery. That’s why your doctor will have to review your medical history and status and clear you first.

If you are found to be a good candidate, you will have fewer problems (such as infections), need less time for recuperation, will have more interaction in the birth process and an easier delivery each time following a VBAC. The Mayo Clinic lists what may increase your success:

• Having only one previous uterine scar and no other scars in this area
• Having a healthy pregnancy in general
• Previous health issues causing you to need an earlier C-section is nonexistent
• Labor does not have to be induced and naturally starts around due date
• You've had a vaginal delivery before

Additionally, the following may decrease your chances at a successful VBAC:

• You are past your due date
• Your baby is a big baby
• You’ve had at least a couple of C-sections before but not vaginal delivery
• You are overweight

As with any medical procedure, there are risks. An unsuccessful labor is one. Statistics indicate that for 20-40 percent of women who attempt VBAC, this is the case. The reason? Most of the time, doctors find that the baby cannot tolerate labor and becomes distressed.

If you cannot deliver naturally and have to undergo an emergency C-section, your chances for an uterine infection increase. Also, in an attempted VBAC, the uterus can tear at an old scar line. As a result, an emergency C-section will have to be performed.

That’s why is it always part of good preparation to make sure your hospital is equipped to handle such emergencies as when a VBAC attempt fails.


VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section). Mayo Clinic. Web. 24 October 2011.

How Many C-section Can You Have? JustMommies.com. Web. 24 October 2011.

Dita Faulkner is a freelance writer who loves to blog. Check out her blog that’s for women and by a woman.

Reviewed October 24, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.