Choosing whether or not to have a Vaginal Delivery After Cesarean (VBAC) is a personal decision where the choice isn’t the same of each woman and her family. There are a few women for which VBAC is not an option because of the type of previous cesarean delivery they had or when there is a risk to the mother or the baby, but a VBAC is usually an option for most women.
There are many reasons why women should consider having a vaginal birth after a previous cesarean delivery. VBAC has several potential health advantages. Women who achieve VBAC avoid major abdominal surgery, which results in lower rates of hemorrhage, infection and a shorter recovery period compared with elective repeat cesarean delivery.
For those considering larger families, VBAC may avoid potential future maternal consequences of multiple cesarean deliveries such as hysterectomy, bowel or bladder injury, transfusion infection and abnormal placentation. VBAC is also associated with decreased maternal morbidity and a decreased risk of complications for future pregnancies.
In a 2010 consensus conference, the National Institutes of Health examined the safety and outcome of trial of labor after a cesarean delivery and concluded that a VBAC is associated with fewer complications.
While understanding the several benefits of a VBAC, it is also important to understand that no one patient can be absolutely guaranteed a VBAC. It is imperative to understand and discuss all of your options with your doctor and or midwife to feel most comfortable and prepared for your delivery.