VBAC vs. C-Section

Krystal - posted on 03/02/2010 ( 39 moms have responded )

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For those who haven't heard the term.....VBAC is a vaginal delivery (for 2nd pregnancy) after having a C-Section performed the first time. I am just wondering if anyone out there has had one (or know someone who has) and what their experiences were like. I have been back and forth between both choices. I still have 2 months to make my decision. I do know there is more risk involved when doing a VBAC after already having a C-Section, but if I do a VBAC my husband will be able to deliver our son. I'm wondering because there's only a 1% chance of something going wrong, if that outways the chance of a lifetime for my husband! Any thoughts????

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Geri - posted on 10/17/2011

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Hi. I'm a mother of 10. Our first 3 were vaginal births in hospital. The next three were c-sections in hospital. The 7th was a VBAC in hospital and the last 3 were VBAC at home. For sure the home births were the least stressful, most peaceful that I have ever had.

So our VBACs were after 3 C-sections, which were not my first pregnancies. There was a period of 3 years between the last c-section and the first VBAC, however, although I don't believe that plays a factor, as my healing process was complete approximately 6 months post-op.

Gabrielle - posted on 09/11/2012

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Hi! well my first daughter was born vaginaly and one year latter I had a emergency c-section with my twins. Out of both I would have to say they both have they're ups and downs but that having my first daughter vaginaly was incredible i bonded with her right away. With my c-section all I can remember of seeing my girls after words is very blury I was so high for a lack of another word. Now I'am pregnant with my fourth child and trying to decide weather to try for a VBAC or go for a planned c-section after researching about doing a VBAC I have decided to go ahead and do a planned c-section if some docs. will refuse to do it because if something dose go wrong than they go very very wrong I think its best for me and baby to go ahead and do a c-section....

Jammie - posted on 10/09/2011

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You're welcome! Good luck with your OB, ask as many questions as possible it's always good to be informed :) My first OB wasn't allowed to do a VBAC so I switched hospitals,lol. I must have asked my second OBGYN a million questions and then done weeks of research haha. I know how crazy it is so if I can help anybody else out, I'm more than happy to do so! My VBAC was the single best experience of my life, so my opinion is a bit biast,haha.

Serene - posted on 03/12/2010

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I think that you should get a VBAC... I just read an article yesterday about how doctors are telling patients that they have to get a c-section if they had a c-section with there first. Turns out that they are wrong, you don't have to get a c-section its just easier on the doctors to deliver a baby. I think that you and your husband should experience a VBAC... It's a wonderful experience and your husband would beable to deliver your baby. Good luck

Rachel - posted on 03/03/2010

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Hi...I am also going to try a VBAC. I had my first son via c-section 3 years ago because his head was turned the wrong way, and my water had been broken for 40+hours and they said at 48 hours I would have to have a c-section because of chance of infection. My son was 9lbs3oz. I am 2 and a half weeks away from my due date and am trying for that VBAC. For me, the pros outweigh the cons. Quicker recovery, less recovery pain, my husband can be more involved, etc! My doctor was making sure I was completely aware at my appointment today that I was still okay with having one. Though I am afraid I will try and still have to have a c-section. My thoughts are, it's better to have at least tried..then going straight for the c-section and not giving my body a chance. Of course, it's right to be completely informed and listen to your doctor, but if s/he's ok with it, and you are, what's the harm in trying? Good luck to you, and I'm sure you'll make an informed decision that is right for you and your baby! :D

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Melissa - posted on 03/10/2013

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hi I'm 19 I had a c section 11 months ago now I have a bouncing baby but its hard even now after this long I still get pains from my scar. I want another baby but I feel my scar will split as it did when I was in hospital for 6 days. any ideas on what I should do?

Cherelle - posted on 12/14/2012

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i had my son via c-section in 2009 due to him being too big for me and when i fell pregnant with my daughter i was told id need a repeat c-section because i had a low lying placenta and with being very small there was a good chance she would be too big for me when i went for my 36 week scan the placenta had moved so i decided to try and have a natural birth and i welcomed my daughter into the world this july after 82 hours of labour naturally i personally would never of had it any other way i love both my babies the same and i dont regret needing the c-section with my son as it saved his life as he had started to give up hope xxx

Christina - posted on 11/30/2012

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VBAC is amazing. If your doctor will let you, go for it. I can understand your worries. I went through them 4 months ago. Our son is now 3 months. 3 and a half years ago, I had a cesarean with our daughter, Nadia, because she was breech. I cried when the doctors told me I HAD to have a cesarean and didn't have a choice. Experiencing a natural childbirth is an experience you will NEVER forget (because you're actually awake... LOL). And after your first successful VBAC, you are more likely to have more successful VBACs later on.



If you had less than a year to recover from the cesarean, I would suggest doing another cesarean. You're less likely to have complications the longer its been since your cesarean. My risk was even higher than normal because of having a connectivity disorder called Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, but the doctor left it up to me because it had been over 3 years since my cesarean.

User - posted on 11/28/2012

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Okay my name vonda and I just had a baby 9 months ago bt she will be 10 months in dec and she be one in feb. and I'm am giving birth to my second one in January . They will be 11 months apart bt I'm am trying for vbac in January cuz with my first one I had a cesection. Will it b alright if I do vbac.after giving birth 11 months with a ceseaction

[deleted account]

I had a VBAC 14 months ago and it was the best experience of my life. My first child was born by c-section as she was breach, I only experienced my water breaking spontaneously, so experiencing the whole thing from start to finish was great. I think the benefits out weigh the risks and the recovery time make caring for a newborn so much easier. I bonded much quicker and there are less complications for the baby (ie: less likely to get pneumonia etc).

However reading some posts here I am really disconcerted to see that some women are saying that they were induced or that the OB is ok with induction with their up coming VBAC. Having a VBAC gives you a risk of uterine rupture (about 1/200), however with induction this risk goes through the roof. It is the one thing my OB was very clear on, that there would be no induction as the contractions that this causes are much stronger than naturally occurring contractions and can lead to rupture. If you do decide to have a VBAC ensure that you are in a hospital, I would seriously discourage home birthing, if something does go wrong you need to be rushed for that unwanted c-section very quickly.

Aniesha - posted on 10/29/2011

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I don't know Geri, I haven't been told anything about it, so I'm assuming it's safe now? I guess that's why they insist on wearing the monitor throughout labor.

Geri - posted on 10/29/2011

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I always thought that induction after c-section was a scary, dangerous business, as the uterus is not naturally contracting, but artificially, significantly increasing the risk of rupture. Is this not correct anymore?

Aniesha - posted on 10/29/2011

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I'm attempting a VBAC in Jan, & when I talked to the obstetrician, he said the risks are basically the same as if you were attempting a vaginal birth the first time. The have a monitor on you for the whole labour apparently so they can keep an eye on things, & if it all starts to go bad, then you'll just be rushed in for a c section. I'm gonna give it a good shot though first, & fingers crossed it all works out!

The only thing that worries me is if I have to be induced again, coz if that happens I think your chance of success for a VBAC goes down to like 40 per cent, so I don't know if I'd bother going through labor for odds like that. All down to personal choice I guess, but I'd say go for it otherwise!

Jammie - posted on 10/10/2011

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Maggie, 27 months is a great length of time. Most OBs prefer at least 18 months, and the longer in between the births, the better it is. Some women have done it as early 11 months after the c-section and been fine, others have failed that early b/c it's too stressful on the uterus, so they end up having another c-section.

Maggie - posted on 10/10/2011

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Has anyone heard if it matters how long between births its ok to try for VBAC? When this bubs due my son will be 27 months, so thats how long ago i had the c section

Maggie - posted on 10/09/2011

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Thanks Jammie! Thats a great help. Im seeing my OB tomorrow so ill be asking lots of questions!

Jammie - posted on 10/09/2011

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Maggie: they will firstly like to know why you had the c-section in the first place, and secondly how it was performed. They will summon your surgical records to see if you're a good candidate. Chances are that you will be unless you had a huge problem with your labor, shoulder dystocia, etc or had a vertical incision into your uterus. It will depend on what doctor you go to. Some will say you're not just because they'd *prefer* not to do it. If you're really interested in finding a good OBGYN or Midwife that is also VBAC friendly, I'd do some research on that. ICAN.com is a good site to start with. If you read my comment above here, there's some facts listed. 99% of the time, a vaginal birth is the best and safest option for both mother & child. Surgeries are very complicated, even ones commonly performed like c-sections and the risks go up with each section, not down! There's more adhesions (scar tissue) & the likes to deal with. Your bladder can be attached pretty badly to your uterus/surrounding tissue from the first surgery, which can get damaged...the list goes on & on! I know it's a big, scary decision, I went through it too. Good luck however you decide!

Maggie - posted on 10/09/2011

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Im in the same boat too. Im 17 weeks pregnant with #2 and i have no idea what to do when it comes to the birth. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what kind of things the midwives and obs take into consideration when trying to help you decide on what to do? Im terrified of the risks either way so i want to do what will keep me and bubs safe

Kathy - posted on 10/01/2011

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I never got the chance to do a vbac my first two were to close together but I have had four and in february 5 c-sections and after 231/2 hours of labor with my first son then an emergancy c-section I didn't have any desire to have a vbac when the dr. asked I told him no way cut me open. Had stitches in the vaginal area from then doing the initial cuts and had the c-section stitches and they were far less painful and healed faster. I say c-section every time.

Jammie - posted on 09/30/2011

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I had a VBAC 14 months ago. The first thing I want to tell you is that reading some of these comments....there are some very misinformed women, it's so sad. Please don't listen to any of us, do your own research, you'll figure out what's best for YOU :) There is *less* than a 1% chance of uterine rupture, yes that is true. However from my extensive research and speaking with many midwives & OBGYNs I have found that when a rupture does happen it does NOT usually "end up with mother/baby dead" or go "really wrong" as others have stated. Those are very rare examples, and most of them are examples that involve un-monitored births. In fact, the most cases with uterine rupture that end up very badly are from mothers who have NEVER had a c-section! It's pretty easy to see a problem via monitoring, and in that case, you'd end up with another c-section. I really enjoyed reading the book "Pushed" it was very helpful & informative. Doctors recommend repeat c-sections due to two reasons: 1- it's easier & makes them more money. 2- hospitals push them to do so, for insurance reasons. My hospital wouldn't allow a VBAC for a mother who had never had a vaginal birth, so I switched to one about 20 mins away. Best decision ever! Great experience, healthy baby...and my only problem was a tear. No big deal :) women were made to birth babies...we can do it 99% of the time if left alone to do so without meds and interventions. If you truly need a c-section- don't feel bad about it, they do have a place, and can save lives. A healthy baby is all that matters! Good luck! Oh, and the other thing I forgot to mention is that a Dr told me that a c-section is major surgery and a repeat c-section is in fact riskier than a VBAC! The percentages are much higher of a complication.

Hayleye2007 - posted on 09/26/2011

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hi! myself i am going to go for a vbac im very scared i could have a c section again but i know ive got a good chance i can do it naturally! my first c section was because his head was turned the wrong way when i went to push! .
the recovery was just unberable 6 weeks of my family having to help me with mostly everything my boy is now a healthy 4 yr old and just want to recover quickly for him too really dont want another c section but im very prepared for itxxx

Melissa - posted on 04/13/2011

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My son was born via c-section (much to my shegrin) and now that I'm pregnant with my second I'm very set on trying for VBAC! I wanted a natural birth SO BADLY for my first, so for my second if I can get it I'll be happy. I've done a lot of research and only 30% of women who do VBAC end up having to have an emergency c-section, but those numbers were collected back in the 70's. The medical industry (i would hope) has advanced since then, so that percentage is probably much lower now! I hope you try it :0) And let us know how it turns out!!

Happy - posted on 04/12/2011

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The percentage of maternal and fetal risks are more with a c-section then a Vbac. Even ACOG states that. I have had 4 births. 1st vaginal, 2nd, c-section, 3rd premature VBAC, 4th-term VBAC. I will never do a c-section again. For me it was a nightmare. My daughters birth in June of 2010 (VBAC) was the birth of my dreams and my sons birth (c-section 2005) was a literal hell on earth!

Happy - posted on 04/12/2011

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The percentage of maternal and fetal risks are more with a c-section then a Vbac. Even ACOG states that. I have had 4 births. 1st vaginal, 2nd, c-section, 3rd premature VBAC, 4th-term VBAC. I will never do a c-section again. For me it was a nightmare. My daughters birth in June of 2010 (VBAC) was the birth of my dreams and my sons birth (c-section 2005) was a literal hell on earth!

Amanda - posted on 03/29/2011

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i had my first naturally but my second child i had to also have an emergency c-section i hated it! so i decided with my third child that i was going to have a vbac (barring comlications) and he came healthy and ornery lol right on time! im not pregnant with twin boys and so far plan on having a vbac again...it is possible even though some doctors will push for the c-section again...! you will do great...

Teresa - posted on 03/29/2010

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After the birth of my 1st child (by C-Section) I began investigating whether there was an alternative to having a repeat C-Section for when I had baby #2. I had an extremely difficult recovery from my C-Section & didn't want to go through that again, especially since I would have a toddler next time around. I read up on VBACs vs. C-Sections and decided that I had to try a VBAC and if my Dr wouldn't support me, I had to find one that would. Upon finding out I was pregnant again (16 mos after my 1st child) I told my Dr that I wanted a VBAC, she told me that I could have a trial of labor if that's what I really wanted but that if complications arose I would end up with a C-Section anyway. Her tone made me think that she wasn't completely supportive but I stood firm & was made to sign a release indicating I understood the risks involved with a VBAC. I am happy to report that I had my 2nd child at the end of February by VBAC! I went from 0-10 cm in 7 hours (the epidural helped!) and although I had an episiotomy, my baby also gave me a 3rd degree tear. But even with that, I am so happy that my VBAC was successful & at least for me, there is no comparison with regard to the recovery. With the C-Section didn't feel myself until about 4 months later & with the VBAC it took about 2-3 weeks. If your Dr is supportive & you are a good candidate, go for the VBAC.

[deleted account]

I had a C-Section with my 1st pregnancy, I have been given the choice as well as to whether I want another C-section or whether I want a VBAC. I have weighed the options. I am going to have a VBAC. If a C-Section is necessary, then they can do that, but I'm going to go for a VBAC. It gives you the opportunity to have a natural birth, your husband can cut the umbilical chord, it will be so worth it in the end. Those are the reasons I have decided to go ahead and do natural birth. Best wishes to you & I hope everything goes good for you hun!

Aimee - posted on 03/25/2010

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Hi, i have had 2 babies naturally after c-section, absolutely no probs, i was monitered throughout the labour due to the increased risk with vbac, and was amazing how quickly i recovered after a natural birth. it was definately worth it for me to do it naturally, so i think if your in a a safe environment where you can be monitered and can emergency c-section if needed you should be fine. Don't miss the opportunity. Good luck!

Niccole - posted on 03/23/2010

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I too have been back and forth over this issue, I am due June 2010. I know that there are risks with both sides but I am going to have a repeat and hear is why....... yes most Doc want you to have a section because it is safer then the unknown and they can more likely control things better if things start to go wrong. My doc was all for me trying to have a vbac, he said more women should try.

Then we found out my abs are not as strong cause of the first section. Then after talking to the docs about the risks I ASKED MY HUSBAND what he thought, you see no one thinks about that 1%+ being them but IF it is who is the one left with one/two small children??? Your husband! Don’t get me wrong I have cried over this MANY days and nights, you see I was about 6cm. with my first son when his heart rate fell to about 35! I sooo want to feel the whole thing start to finish but then again it what I want. Could I really put my life and the life of my son in risk, even if it’s just 1%? Think of it this way, would you let the child you have now run in the road if you were told there was only a 1% chance he would get hit? I could not do it. But know I will have to live with the "what ifs" my whole life but is worth it to me.

Death is not the only risk so please read up on the matter make sure it is what you, your husband and your doctor think is best for you. Please don’t read this and be upset know that many women have done it and been fine! This is just how I feel and I guess I am not a risk taker. No lotto for me ;)

Majaliwa - posted on 03/21/2010

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A good documentary to watch is 'The business of being born' by Ricky Lake. I'm due in July with my 2nd and I'll be trying for a VBAC.



Here's a brief clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwqLrHMbK...



Doctors for insurance reasons will encourage you to do a repeat c-section but what they won't tell you is that afterwards they will also recommend you not have more children because of the increased risk of repeat c-sections. They also fail to mention the health impacts to you as a mom like increased morbidity. C-sections are major surgery.



To improve your chances of having a VBAC, I'd also recommend researching the c-section rates in your area. After my c-section I found out that the c-section rates in my area were 28% - well above the national average. I think that's why they were so inclined to give me a c-section.

Cecelia - posted on 03/13/2010

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I completely agree with Serene....I am also going for a VBAC with this baby. You hear about the 1% chance of something going wrong with a VBAC...but what about the risks of a C-section? That is a major operation and carries it's own set of risks and complications......just something to consider.....

Andrea - posted on 03/11/2010

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I hear you - I just booked my repeat c-section today for March 26th. I am due on Easter weekend (April 3) so it would mean trying for vbac but risking that I go overdue and need a c-section anyway because they can't induce me again. I know my doctor recommended that I have a section from the beginning because there is less than 2 years between my boys being born, which increases the chance of the scar tearing, which is very dangerous...
I'm still hoping that I go early with him, but based on the fact that I'm booked at 39 weeks it's unlikely. I was really looking forward to giving it a try but I hear from a lot of people that vaginal can also create issues and I'm scared of tearing or something because they are expecting a big baby again and I'll still have the long recovery time.
Good luck - I hope it works out for you!

Michelle Carpenter - posted on 03/11/2010

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I wanted to have a VBAC with my second baby, but ended up with a repeat c-section. We were overdue, again, and they didn't want to induce due to increased possibility of rupture. I was disappointed but I found the recovery to be much better the second time. I do have a friend who did have a successful VBAC and LOVED the experience even though she had a significant tear. I guess in the end the safety of the baby is what is important. Good luck!!

Liz - posted on 03/06/2010

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I know many women where I live that wanted to do vbac but the hospitals around here refuse to do it. I was confused because most of these hospitals really push having natural births...I asked my ob about it, and he said that he used to do them, (hes been a doctor for over 20 years) but he said it wasn't worth it, because that 1% chance of something going wrong usually ends up with mother/baby dead. :( Im not saying you shouldn't do it, or anything I just think it's scary. But then again Im super scared of having to have a c-section too, and I would probably try to do a vbac if I had to have a a c-section the first time. Good luck either way!

Angela - posted on 03/04/2010

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Everything that I am about to say should be taken with a grain of salt, as each of us are different. I had my daughter via c-section because she was breech. It was scheduled so I was as relaxed as you can be under the circumstances. It was a hard recovery, but I managed. I am also due in about 2 months and was faced with the decision. I am a good candidate for V-BAC in that I did not have trouble labouring. However, I have 2 Doctors whom I know outside the clinic. They have both recommended a repeat section. They told me that when things go wrong with a V-BAC it goes very wrong, and usually the baby suffers. At my last appointment one of my doctors told me that when his wife was faced with the same choice he talked to every OB that he knew. All the doctors told him that it is safest for his wife and the baby to do a repeat section. He said that doctors can not always be this candid with their patients. They are just supposed to give you the info and let you make as informed a decision as you can. He was lucky to be a position where he was speaking with his peers and they were very honest. I don't say this to scare anyone, I just think it is important to think things through carefully. In light of what he told me that day I will be doing a repeat section.

Lisa - posted on 03/03/2010

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Hi Krystal,
I would have to agree... I am also going to try for a VBAC and totally understand that you would have some worries about the decision. At the end of the day it is going to be an unbelievable experience for you and your husband to give it a try without the c-section but it is always important to listen to the advice given at the time. If you trust the hospital medical team taking care of you and they seriously advise against it, that is a different story. You want your new baby, not to mention yourself as safe as possible and as we are all aware, Labour can go in completely unexpected directions at any given time... There are always going to be risks but you sound like you have looked into it and are aware of what they are. Why not go for it cautiously and with an open mind, prepared for the possibility of the c-section happening anyway? Hope it goes well for you!

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