If you have given birth by cesarean section, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is no possibility of giving normal birth the next time. In fact, VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) is actually a safe option for women who are low risk and have had a C section previously. Hence, normal delivery is a possibility for the majority of women.
Why go for VBAC?
There are many benefits of VBAC that make it an option worth trying. In some cases, women just want to experience normal delivery. There are medical reasons as well that make VBAC a viable option to healthcare providers and the woman itself rather than repeating c section.
- Normal delivery eliminates abdominal surgery, which itself comes with certain risks such as hemorrhage, infection, and complications related to anesthesia.
- Reduces the risk of probable blood transfusions, thereby lowering the blood-borne disease risk
- Short recovery time and reduced stay at the hospital.
While normal delivery after c section does offer certain benefits, there are a few risks in question as well. Quite a handful of ob-gyns do not offer vaginal birth post-cesarean. There may even by strict stipulations followed by hospitals for offering VBAC like going into labor before the due date.
There are more complications associated with an elective repeat c section as compared to VBAC. However, even more complications can arise with a failed trial of labor after c section, including, in rare cases, uterine rupture. During labor, if the uterus tears open, a cesarean has to be performed on an emergency basis for preventing complications like heavy bleeding. In cases of complex rupture or for stopping the bleeding, a hysterectomy may be required for removing the uterus. That would mean you won’t be able to get pregnant again.
Is normal delivery after c section right for you?
VBAC is likely to be safe for you if:
- You had a minimum of one vaginal delivery
- You had just a single c section previously. Repeated cesarean increases the risk of uterine rupture
- In your previous c section, you had a low transverse incision. The risk of uterine rupture is higher if high vertical incision was made in the previous cesarean.
- You have a low-risk pregnancy
- You’re having only a single baby of a reasonable size
- You don’t have health conditions like diabetes, genital herpes, and high blood pressure
- You don’t have a history of uterine problems or uterine surgery
- You conceive at least after nine months post c section
To determine whether you are suitable for a normal delivery after c section, your doctor will take your size into consideration as well as the baby’s size. There might be prolonged stress to the uterus during delivery in case of a larger sized baby that won’t fit. This could interrupt normal delivery.
There might be other factors that could indicate probable complications during delivery. That, along with the risk factors associated with the previous cesarean, could make normal delivery too risky. Since it is possible to identify the risk factors before delivery, you should consult with your healthcare provider regarding the options you have.
Exercises that can help you
When you are in hospital, you will be given information regarding the exercises that are helpful with recovery after c section. As soon as you are capable of getting out of bed, you are encouraged to start moving around. Walking gently is helpful in recovering after surgery. During birth or pregnancy, if there was any kind of complication, if you have any medical condition, you should seek advice from a physiotherapist or healthcare professional before you start any kind of exercise.
Pelvic floor exercises:
These are the exercises that many women do during pregnancy. After your catheter is removed post c section, you can start with pelvic floor exercises as soon as you feel you are ready. Exercises like these are extremely helpful as they help in strengthening the muscles that support the womb, bladder, and bowels. If you have any issues with urine leakage, these exercises can help manage the condition as well.
These are the exercises that help in strengthening the abdominal muscles. It allows you to have a good posture by protecting your spine
- Lay on your side and bend your knees slightly
- Relax the abdominal muscles and gently breathe in
- Pull in the abdominal muscles gently while breathing out
- Squeeze the pelvic floor muscles at the same time
- Keep squeezing and holding in the abdominal muscles for ten seconds and release gently.
- Repeat the workout ten times
- Perform the exercise thrice a day
Physical work out:
Before you return to working out the way you used to before pregnancy, you need to wait before your postnatal check-up after 6-8 weeks is done. Low impact exercises and low resistance gym work can be done after recovering from a c section.