VBAC - Can A Mom Have Normal Delivery After C Section
6 mins read
Labour and Delivery for Pregnancy
A lot of women are skeptical about the delivery process of their second child, especially if they have had a C-section at the time of their first delivery. In many cases, the doctor automatically recommends C-section for the second time as well. Does this mean it is impossible or dangerous for mothers who have undergone cesareans to have their second child through the natural birth canal? Here's the complete truth.
"Once a C-section, always a C-section" - is this true? If you're a mom who has had a caesarean delivery, will you always have to opt for one even in later pregnancies? And if you have had a normal birth after a C-section, are you or your baby at any kind of risk?
What Is VBAC?
It IS possible to have a natural birth after undergoing a C-section delivery. This is called a VBAC or "vaginal birth after caesarean" and has its risks and benefits, depending on the health of the mother and the baby. However, many hospitals and doctors in India and around the world don't even consider this an option!
If you have been through multiple pregnancies, one or more of them being caesarean, you may have noticed how you are recommended a C-section anyway. Your OB/GYN is unwilling to discuss any other birthing method if you have once had the surgery. Why is that? Before you label these medical professionals as money-making-scamsters, let's take a look at the rationale behind their suggestion: it turns out that neither is VBAC possible for every mother nor is it free of risks. In fact, some of the risks associated with this can be life-threatening!
Serious Risks Involved in Vaginal Birth after Cesarean
Rupturing of the uterus:
This is probably the biggest risk that leads many doctors to automatically recommend C-section if you last delivery was one. This is because there is a considerable risk that your previous C-section incision may tear open during the trial of labour after cesarean (TOLAC). This can cause blood loss and make your baby short of oxygen, putting you both at risk! The chances are comparatively less, almost 1 in 500, if you have had a low-transverse incision earlier.
Infection and complication in the uterus:
If your trial of labour after cesarean is long and causes foetal distress, you may have to undergo an emergency C-section that has a high risk of uterine infection and complications. Also, going for induced labour is not advised here as it can create complications.
Injury to baby:
This is not common, but it continues to be a lurking threat. During VBAC deliveries, the doctor needs to closely monitor blood flow to the baby, much more than during a first-time normal birth of a first-time C-section. It is possible that there could be a compromise and your baby’s blood pressure may drop. In this case, it becomes critical to switch to a C-section halfway through so as to avoid serious injury to the baby.
Vaginal Birth is Safe for you only if:
Your first C-section involved a horizontal low-transverse uterine incision and there was no uterine rupture.
Both the mother and the child are healthy, and there is no sign of any ailments.
The size of the baby is normal and you don't have a high birth weight foetus.
Your pelvis is wide enough to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal.
You have a normally progressing labour. Your pregnancy is not overdue.
Adequate medical assistance is available to you around the clock.
Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is normal.
The time gap between two pregnancies is not very short.
If you meet all of the above criteria and have discussed the risks with your doctor, you may be a good candidate for VBAC. You should prepare yourself for this experience by monitoring your pregnancy closely and getting familiar with the procedure. You should also try and get admitted in a medical centre well in time to make sure you and your baby are in good health.
If you are planning your second or third child, VBAC will be a better choice compared to a C-section surgery, as the risks of cesarean surgery scars to the mother and baby can’t be overlooked, and it also involves the risk of uterine rupture which can lead to further complications.
You can recover much faster as compared to a C-section and gain your health in a shorter span of time. There is also less pain after the delivery.
To know how to have a successful VBAC and ease some of your fears, watch the video below:
How to Have a Successful VBAC
Once you've had a C-section, you're back to having all of these birthing fears again as you do not know what natural labour feels like. While C-sections are very painful as well, having a natural birth after c-section seems unbearable to a lot of moms. The following tips will help you move towards a more successful VBAC.
Get Educated In VBAC
Firstly, the key to a successful VBAC is to get educated by a doctor. Knowledge on VBAC's can really help in easing the tension you may have and keep you informed of what can go wrong and how to avoid it. Also read up on VBAC as much as possible.
Plan For A Natural Birth
It is better to plan your birth as a natural and unmedicated one. In a lot of cases drugs, epidurals and other unnatural methods lead to C-section deliveries.
Also Plan For A C-section
While you are aiming for a natural birth, be prepared for a C-section. Considering you have already had one, you are already aware of what went well and what didn't, what you could do better and what you'd rather not do again. In case your second birth does go the C-section route, at least you will be mentally prepared.
Work Through Fears
It is natural to have birth fears. Work on getting your fears answered by speaking to other moms and doctors who are experienced. A lot of women find that they are able to turn their fear into determination closer to birth.
There! Once you are equipped with the knowledge about vaginal birth after cesarean, and after consulting your doctor, you can opt for a normal birthing procedure. You should ensure that you have the best medical assistance possible to take care of you in an hour of emergency.