If you have had a cesarean delivery (also called a C-section) before, St. John's supports your decision to deliver your next baby vaginally.
When medically indicated by your physician, the option of vaginal birth after previous cesarean delivery is now available to you. This is called vaginal birth after cesarean, or VBAC. Our certified nurse-midwives are specialists in vaginal birth after cesareans and have received national recognition for their success in this procedure.
Having a VBAC can be a safe choice for most women. Whether it is right for you depends on several things, including why you had a C-section before and how many C-sections you've had. You and your doctor can talk about your risk for having problems during a trial of labor.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you're a good candidate for a vaginal birth after a c-section if you meet all of the following criteria:
Factors that would work against your having a successful VBAC include:
Delivering your baby vaginally is a more natural form of childbirth. Usually, this means you will:
It also means you’ll probably be more alert during the birth and able to leave the hospital sooner after delivering. Perhaps, most important, you won’t have the scarring on your uterus that a cesarean causes. This matters if you intend to have more children. The more cesareans you have, the fewer options you have for delivery when you get pregnant again.
Talk with your practitioner about your individual chance of success and carefully weigh the benefits and the risks. Whatever you decide, St. John's and our team of experts are ready to assist.