Skip to Main Content

Having a Vaginal Birth After C-Section (VBAC) in Arizona

A VBAC is when a woman has a vaginal birth after having had a cesarean section (C-section) in a previous pregnancy. During a VBAC you may still have an epidural if you choose.

If you would like to learn more about VBAC in Arizona, schedule a tour at one of our birthing centers, or register for birthing classes near you, call (877) 728-5414.

Why a Vaginal Birth After C-Section is Performed

Some women who have had a C-section with an earlier pregnancy may wish to give birth vaginally in a subsequent pregnancy. Benefits of vaginal delivery include: 

  • Less blood loss
  • A shorter recovery period
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Less risk to future deliveries

About 90 percent of women who have had a C-section in the past are still candidates for a vaginal delivery, and up to 80 percent of women who attempt a VBAC are successful. 
Women who should not attempt a vaginal birth after a C-section are those who have:

  • High vertical scars (the cesarean incision was made vertically in the abdomen) 
  • A desire to induce labor
  • A large or breech baby
  • Had a previous uterine rupture 

Do not attempt a VBAC outside of a hospital or in a hospital that is not well equipped for an emergency C-section. Talk with your doctor about whether a VBAC is a good option for you.

Risks of Vaginal Birth After C-Section

If you choose to attempt a VBAC, be prepared for another C-section in case the vaginal delivery is unsuccessful. The most serious risk of a VBAC is uterine rupture, when the scar from your previous C-section tears open. The risk of uterine rupture is about 1 in every 500 VBAC attempts. Uterine rupture is potentially life-threatening and requires an emergency C-section, as it can cause heavy bleeding for the mother and brain damage to the baby. Sometimes it can result in the need for a hysterectomy to stop the bleeding. 

Recovery After VBAC at Dignity Health

Women who have a successful VBAC will have about the same recovery experience as with a regular vaginal birth, such as fatigue and vaginal soreness. Your overall healing time will likely be much shorter than recovering from a C-section. 

Dignity Health provides specialized prenatal, labor, and delivery care, offering vaginal birth after cesarean in Arizona.