What's VBAC and is it right for your second delivery? If this obstetrics term is new to you, and your first pregnancy required a C-section, take a look at the top VBAC questions women have answered.
What Is a VBAC?
The acronym VBAC stands for vaginal birth after cesarean. If you had a cesarean (or C-section), you don't necessarily have to elect the surgical procedure for your next delivery. Some women choose to have a TOLAC (or trial of labor after cesarean) and a VBAC.
Is VBAC a Common Choice?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2018 the rate of VBAC was 13.3 percent. This percentage is an increase from both the previous years (2016 and 2017). VBAC is less common in women over the age of 40.
Is a VBAC Always a Possibility?
Talk to your obstetrician about your options before deciding on a VBAC. Even though you may want to have a vaginal delivery after a prior cesarean, your OB may not recommend it. Several factors play into the decision to attempt a VBAC. These include the size and placement of your C-section scar, the doctor's experience with VBAC, the hospital's capabilities, and your risk of uterine rupture.
VBAC candidates typically have a low vertical or low transverse C-section scar, have never experienced uterine rupture, have had less than two prior cesarean deliveries, have no past history of uterine surgeries (for fibroids or other issues), and last gave birth more than 18 months ago.
Is VBAC Always Successful?
Even though you may meet all the criteria for a VBAC, this option isn't always possible. The doctor may let you labor (TOLAC) and monitor your progress closely. If the labor doesn't progress or the OB feels you or the baby are in jeopardy, you may need a C-section.
Why Do Some Women Choose a VBAC?
There are several different reasons for choosing this delivery option. Some mothers-to-be have a personal desire to experience a vaginal delivery, while others select this option based on health-related reasons. A VBAC can reduce (but not eliminate) the likelihood of future cesareans, decrease overall post-delivery recovery time, and lower some of the risks.
If your birth plan includes a vaginal delivery, discuss the pros and cons of a VBAC with your doctor. The OB will consider your reproductive history, past pregnancies/deliveries, current health, and the risks involved in both a repeat C-section and a vaginal delivery before they recommend a VBAC. Along with the doctor, talk to other mothers about their VBAC experiences before you decide on this type of delivery.
For more information, contact an obstetrics clinic like Desert Rose OBGYN PC.