Preparing for VBAC (Vaginal birth after C-section) & Tips

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If you had a C-section in your previous delivery and you are pregnant, you might wonder if vaginal delivery is an option for you or not. Vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) is an option for several women. However, several factors need to be considered before you make sure if the VBAC is right for you or not. The main thing to consider is the safety of the mother and the baby. There are certain factors that make VBAC a risky procedure including the following:

  • BMI of more than 30
  • Age more than 35 years
  • Large fetus
  • Pre-eclampsia
  • Last delivery was within 18 months

Another thing to consider while deciding to go for VBAC or not is the type of C-section scar. There are two different C-section scars:

  • A transverse cut going from side to side
  • A vertical cut going from top to bottom

If the scar was vertical, VBAC cannot be attempted as there is a high risk of a rupture. You will have to go through a C-section again. However, if the scar is transverse and low, you can try VBAC. Here are a few tips that can help you prepare yourself for VBAC:

  1. Get the information

    Some risk factors make VBAC unsuitable for you. Uterine rupture is one of the most prominent risk factors. However, statistics have shown that there is less than a 1 percent chance of this happening. The possibility of uterine rupture is one of the most confusing aspects of VBAC. So, you need to educate yourself about the benefits and risks of this delivery method. You can go to your healthcare provider, other VBAC mothers, and prenatal VBAC classes to get the right information. This will help you make the decision. Educate yourself on all the possible scenarios that you could face while giving birth. Go through your birth plan thoroughly.

  2. Find the right healthcare provider

    If you are planning to go through VBAC, you need to find a healthcare provider who has a proven success rate and supports VBAC. you need to interview prospective midwives and doctors and ask them revealing questions that will help you get a clear picture of all possible scenarios. This includes what will happen when you are past your due date, will there be a need for labor induction, does the hospital supports induction, or whether VBAC is a viable option or you or not. Also, check the success rate of VBAC of the doctor. what you need is a healthcare provider who is supportive and won’t be planting doubts in your head when you are 36 weeks pregnant.

  3. The hospital should be VBAC friendly

    In some cases, your healthcare provider supports your choice of going through VBAC but your hospital might not. In other cases, hospitals might not be equipped to handle VBAC. it is because of this that some hospitals have banned VBAC that forces the women to change their plan or their hospital. You don’t want to argue with the hospital regarding their policy when you are about to deliver your baby. So, make sure that you clear this with the hospital ahead of time. You have to be clear on whether the hospital allows VBAC or not, how the routine procedure is carried out, or will you be allowed to move during labor. Fetal monitoring is required for women going through VBAC. however, many hospitals have telemetry, a wireless monitoring system that allows women to move freely during delivery.

  4. Go through all the options

    Many mothers prefer giving birth at a hospital. However, there are other options as well that you can explore. For example, home birth, or local birth centers. These are all reasonable options that you can choose according to your comfort level. Yes, there can be some risk factors but VBAC has the same low-risk level as other birth methods. All women should have the choice of delivering their babies at home. However, if you are choosing to give birth at home, it is recommended that it is done under midwifery care. Research the options, discuss them with your healthcare provider for figuring out what is right for you.

  5. Hire a doula

    A doula is a person who provides the mother with physical and emotional support during delivery. They are non-medical labor support that aid in pain management and decrease the rate of cesarean. A study has shown that having the support of a doula reduces the chance of C-section by about 80 percent. They help you with each contraction and reminding the mother why they are doing this.