VBAC or Another C-Section?

Carie - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 17 moms have responded )

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Hi Everyone, My name is Carie and I am expecting my second child in April. Due Date 4/28/09. My daughter is 18 months old and I am undecided on trying VBAC or scheduling another c-section and wanted to hear some of your opinions. I had an unplanned c-section with my daughter as she was found to be in the breech position 3 days past her due date. I have the choice this of VBAC or elective c-section this time as long as the baby is in the correct position. I am scared of the unknown and am leaning towards another c-section since it can be scheduled and quick procedure but my recovery from the first was very long and hard. I am willing to try VBAC just for the fact of a shorter recovery due to my toddler running around and having to take care of her. I am torn on this decision - please help!

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Tamrha - posted on 01/14/2009

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Hi there...

"If you don't know your options, you don't have any."- Korte and Scaer from A Good Birth, A Safe Birth

I would encourage all who are trying to decide between an elective repeat cesarean and a VBAC to DO THEIR HOMEWORK. This doesn't mean simply asking your OB about what they think. With the way that the birth culture is right now in this country most OB's are going to lean towards a repeat c... when research proves that most of the time the safest and healthiest thing for both mother and baby is to go for that VBAC.

You need to really look into the risks here. Many times doctors down play the risks of elective repeat c sections and do not talk about the benefits of vaginal birth after cesareans! As a doula and childbirth educator, I see and read of this every day.

Risks involved with elective repeat c's are a longer recovery period, pain, debility, interference with bonding and breastfeeding. Some injuries that occur from complications of sections do not happen in vaginal births - such as hemorrhage risks increasing as well as hysterectomy risks increasing, surgical injuries to the bladder, uterus, intestines and bowels can occur. after surgery, risks of infections increase, paralized bowels, blood clots in the legs, ones that lodge in the lungs (which can cause death). Scar tissue can cause chronic pelvic pain and pain during intercourse.

More women die because of sections. NOT from VBAC'S! Elective c-section increases the risk by the hundreds.

Then there's the baby. Babies born to elective sections often have breathing difficulties and often end up in the NICU. The squeezing action of the uterus clears the baby's lungs of fluids, preparing them to breathe on their own. Without this, they tend to have troubles at the birth. Many babies end up being born too early, with low birth weights. Babies can sometimes be cut during sections by the surgery tools.

Also repeat scars can create complications with later pregnancies and births. That said, the risks of scar rupture during a labor is .01 - .05%. That's not even a percentage! The surgical risks are much greater.

If you find that your care provider is against this, please remember that you hired them. Interview another provider. Interview a Midwife! All around the world, healthy pregnant women are cared for by skilled professional midwives,.,.. and their babies and mothers are healthier than in the US. We rank very low in birth outcomes amongst industrialized countries.... something around #41. That's very, very sad. Plus, with our rising cesarean rate, our maternal death rate has risen. Its very scary.

Books I would suggest :
The Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin. Filled with awesome birth stories and pregnancy information.

The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth - Henci Goer

Immaculate Deception II - by Suzanne Arms

Gentle Birth Choices - Barbara Harper

Pushed: The Painful Truth about childbirth and modern maternity care by Jennifer Block

Movies: The Business of Being Born by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstien ( rent this via netflix or blockbuster)

Orgasmic Birth www.orgasmicbirth.org

Websites
www.ican-online.org International Cesarean Awareness Network ( This is a must!! :)
www.choicesinchildbirth.com

www.betterbirthamerica.com - look for your region and sign up for the newsletter

All women need to make their own choices...and these choices should be respected.... but these should be INFORMED CHOICES. Without information, we do not have power.

Also, please watch this youtube video... I admire and commend these strong, powerful, informed women!

and

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Tamrha - posted on 02/03/2009

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Repeat cesareans/ additional scars create risks for subsequent pregnancies... because the placenta in a following pregnancy can implant at the scar site and develop thru the uterine wall, uterine rupture risks increase, infertility increases, etc etc. ITs best to avoid sections at all costs...
I'd suggest reading up ... I'm loving this book Im reading now... The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer!

Wendy - posted on 01/31/2009

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I would definitely suggest a VBAC. It is a much quicker, easier recovery. You'll have to go through the pain of labor but then it's over and you feel pretty much normal again. And they have good drugs for labor too if you want them. Also, the risks of a c-section are much greater for you and the baby than a vaginal delivery. Another thing to think about is that if you plan on having more children you can develope scar tissue in your abdomen from multiple c-sections that can be very painful, and permanent.

Breanne - posted on 01/30/2009

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I just had an apt with my OBGYN and he gave me the thumbs up for a vbac, but for precautions he's going to send me for more ultra sounds one more now, and one closer to the due date to make sure this baby isn't as big as #1 i'm really excited to get a second chance to hopefully achieve a vaginal birth

Michelle - posted on 01/28/2009

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Hi. I was in the same boat.... I had a c- section with my first due to "failer to progress" after 13.5 hrs I only made it to 8 cm. # 2 is due april 19th. I talked to my OBGYN about my choices -she said it was totaly up to me- she gave me all the statistics and concerns and said that as long as I was ok with the #'s she is more than happy to let me try a VBAC.

I just realy want to chance to TRY ..the female body is made to deliver babys so for me it was important to @least try.

Every women is different and I think you need to do what you feel is best for you.

good luck

Tamrha - posted on 01/14/2009

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I'd recommend this video... and a new care provider!


These women were all told their babies were too big...were sectioned... and went on to birth even bigger babies vaginally!

Breanne - posted on 01/12/2009

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Yeah it's such a tricky decision. I had my first by c-section because she was over 9 lbs and just wasn't going to fit! i brought up VBAC to my dr this time and he just made a face at me and thinks this baby is going to be bigger (ouch). I had a really easy recovery with my c-section but i'm starting to freak myself out about having a second one because i know what's coming!

Carie - posted on 12/29/2008

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Thanks for the advice ladies. I only had my first via c/s because she was breech, no other complications and I think I am leaning towards trying a VBAC this coming April. My doctors are for it and leaving the decision up to me. It feels like April is fast approaching and I need to make a decision soon - ugh!

Aimee - posted on 12/18/2008

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I am going to try a VBAC this time too. I just can't imagine having another C-Section and having a new baby AND a 29 month old to take care of. My dr. said that I should be able to have one. I had to have a c/s last time since i had placenta previa which thankfully i don't have this time!

Jennifer - posted on 12/17/2008

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I think it would be best to try a VBAC and if it doesnt happen then you can always do the C-section. Talk to your doctor and see what they recommend. I am probably not a good source though, I had a normal vaginal delivery with my first and plan to with my second as well, God willing nothing go wrong that I would have to have a C-section. I was wondering if they do C-sections for breech babies? I know it is too early for concern but my u/s showed that she is breech right now... just wondering.

Brooke - posted on 12/17/2008

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Hi everyone,

I am also having my second and am 22 weeks. I had a VBAC for my first and as far as VBAC's go, it was great. Recovery time was a couple of days but I did not experience tearsing and did not need stitches. However, my son was born at 36 weeks and although he was 6Lbs 1 at that time, it could have been a different story if he had have been born at term.

As long as everything goes according to plan I am planning on a VBAC also for this one and although I am living in Beijing, I have a great OB/GYN who is all for VBACs and completely understands that a C/S is only an option if it is absolutely necessary.

I would also say, go with VBAC if you can as more and more often C/S first timers are being told that VBAC's are more and more possible and of course safe.

Good luck on your decision.

Maggie - posted on 12/16/2008

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I had both of mine c/s and am schd for my 3rd on Apr 15th. The reason I am doing it was they are finding that uterine rupture is 1 in 100, and since I had both mine c/s my chances are double. I talked w/my dr did a lot of studying online and I schd because it is what is best for the baby. Now if this would have been my 2nd child, I would have done vbac!! My daughter was horizontal so I had to have my 1st c/s, I did the second thinking it was easier to do so, now I regret it and wish I would have done it vbac. I agree w/Ash if your hospital allows it, do it. Find support groups ect, I know a lot of drs dont do vbac much anymore, in fact my dr told me a lot of hospitals now won't even think of it if you have even had one. But defiantly ask lots of questions, get yourself informed and do what you feel is best for you and the baby. One website I looked at was www.vbac.com HTH

Ash-Leigh - posted on 12/04/2008

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I don't have experience with a c-sec but I would say go with the VBAC. Let your body do what it supposed to do if you can. Especially if you have a Dr./hospital that will let you do it.

Abbigale - posted on 12/03/2008

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I, too, had a c-section with my first baby. I asked about a VBAC with this one, but my doctor will not allow it. I wanted to do the VBAC because I had a long recovery with the first one, and this time I will be chasing a toddler too. I'd say, do the VBAC if you can.

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