Vaginal birth after Cesarean section (VBAC)
Choosing to try for a vaginal birth after Cesarean section, or VBAC, comes with certain risks, but it’s often successful. In this short video, learn more about VBAC, also called a trial of labor after Cesarean or TOLAC.
To attempt a VBAC, you must have had a transverse incision in your uterus during your prior C-section, as well as no ongoing medical concerns or complications that would lead to your doctor recommending another C-section for the safety of you and your baby.
VBACs do come with several benefits, including:
- Less time in the hospital to recover
- A less painful recovery with lower risk of complications
- Reduced chance of excess bleeding
- Lower chance of post-delivery infection
- Lower morality rate
Major concerns for women attempting a VBAC include the possibility of the Cesarean scar or uterus itself rupturing. This complication, however, is very rare.
The length of labor and pushing phase are different with every birth, but there are a few things you can do to help the process along.
- Keep moving, walking around as much as you can
- Change positions frequently, whether it’s sitting in a chair, lying in bed, kneeling or squatting
- Between contractions, rest by lying on your side, not your back
- Push without fear
Contraindications, or circumstances in which a VBAC may not be recommended or successful, include:
- Having had a previous classical or T-shape incision during C-section or uterine surgery
- Previous uterine rupture
- Medical conditions like placenta previa
- Three or more previous C-section deliveries
Check with the hospital you plan to deliver at to ensure they are VBAC-friendly, and be prepared for possible changes in your birth plan.
For many, VBAC offers a chance to experience a kind of birth many feel they were previously denied. Find out more about how to know if VBAC is the right choice for you here on our blog and speak with your OB/GYN.
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