Vaginal Birth After Caesarean

After caesarean births,  some mothers would like to try vaginal birth the next time around. This is known as Vaginal Birth After Caesarean or VBAC or TOLAC trial of labour after c/section).

A VBAC is very similar to a regular vaginal birth, with one big change. When your labour commences, the midwives and doctors will monitor you closely – more closely than if you hadn’t had a previous caesarean section. This is so they can pick up quickly on any problems.

Most women who have vaginal births will:

  • Recover more rapidly from labour and birth
  • Have a shorter hospital stay
  • Need less pain relief post-birth
  • Be more likely to have skin to skin contact straight after birth
  • Have a better chance of breastfeeding their babies
  • Contribute to a lowered chance of complications in future pregnancies
  • Be physically able to care for their babies (and their other children).

Women who experience vaginal birth often report feeling more satisfied with their overall birth experience. When babies are born vaginally, it can reduce their chances of needing time in a special care nursery. Babies born vaginally tend to have strong immune systems and are less likely to have allergies than babies born by caesarean. This is thought to be due to the hormones released during vaginal birth, and the important bacteria babies acquire during vaginal birth.

VBAC does have a higher likelihood of unplanned/emergency caesarean. This might happen if the baby is in distress or if labour is very long. An unplanned cesarean can have more problems, like infection and increased bleeding than a planned (elective) caesarean. Having a successful VBAC depends on a few things, including maternal health, and the reasons for a previous caesarean birth. If you’ve had a vaginal birth before, this improves your chances of successful VBAC.

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Lionel’s Journal

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