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Vaginal Birth after a Cesarean

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC) can be quite safe, and doctors are more willing to try it now than just a few years ago. Many women were disappointed after having a cesarean with their last birth experience and want to try vaginal delivery again.

Most first time mothers that have a cesarean have one due to dystocia. Dystocia describes the failure for a labor to progress, due to a big baby and small pelvis. Most women that choose VBAC with past dystocia do go on to have safe VBACs.

Do you fit into the criteria to try VBAC?

You are a good candidate for VBAC if the following conditions are met:

  • You have had only one previous cesarean with a low transverse incision
  • You have a clinically adequate pelvis
  • You have no other uterine scars or past ruptures
  • You have immediate access to a physician and an operating room for an emergency cesarean if necessary. Hospital births are required.

If you do not meet all of the conditions above, you still may be considered a candidate for VBAC, although with more risk.

Some Facts to Note

Women who go into spontaneous labor have a better chance of a successful VBAC than women who are induced. Rupture of the uterus is the biggest risk when undergoing VBAC, and may occur at a rate of 0.4-1.2% of VBAC patients. The risk rate is similar to other obstetric emergencies such as placental abruption, cord prolapse and unexplained severe fetal heart rate decelerations. The occurrence of this is rare and can decrease if you meet the above conditions and your labor is closely managed.

Another point to note is that many doctors won't even do VBACs, due to liability. Ask your doctor early on in your pregnancy if he will do a VBAC. If not, feel free to look around your area. Just be sure to do your research thoroughly.

For more information on VBAC and support for women who would like to undergo VBAC, visit

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