VBAC or C-Section?

Nancy - posted on 04/24/2012 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I am pregnant with my second child and have always wanted to do a natural birth. Unfortunately with my first child I could not do this because I got preeclampsia with her. She was born at 31 weeks. I really want to do it normal this time but it depends on how it goes. I am really scared of my uterus rupturing. Any advice would help.

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Happy - posted on 04/25/2012

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Susie, that is NOT what ACOG states! Your information is contrary to what ACOG has published in recent years. I do not know why any OB would so blatently share mistruths as Once a section always a section. The ONLT time that is correct is IF the incision was a vetical incision as apposed to a low tranverse incision. Please read ACOG's reports : http://www.acog.org/About_ACOG/News_Room...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 04/25/2012

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Susie, it is not always the case. C sections are just as high risk in a normal pregnancy with a healthy mother as is VBACS. The chances of a uterine rupture are like 1-4%. I had a VBAC. Some states just don't allow it due to insurance reasons. You find someone specializing in them, and you are healthy, there really is no reason not to try.

Jessica - posted on 04/25/2012

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I had an emergency section with my first child after 36 hours of induced labor. It was one of the most horrific experiences of my life! Twenty-two months later my next son was born natural; 9 hours of labor, 3 1/2 pushes and no episiotomy. Three years later son number 3 was born natural; 8 hours labor, 2 pushes and no episiotomy. Then last but not least, 18 months later son number 4 came along natural also; 6 hours of labor, 2 pushes and no episiotomy. Don't let anyone convince you that you need a c-section...or an episiotomy. Your body knows what to do. If a physician is more willing to work with nature than speed it up, things work out much better. I will always regret letting them induce my labor early (37 wks) with my first child. I never progressed past 5cm in all those hours. He was born with the top of his head solid black from all the pressure. He is mentally handicapped. I will always wonder if that contributed to it. If only we could go back...

Kristin - posted on 04/26/2012

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I had an emergency C-section after 25 hrs of labour, and then a beautiful 4 1/2 hrs active labour VBAC. For me it was definitely the right choice, but a friend in the same situation chose to have another section and for her that was the right choice too. You need to keep in mind that your labour MAY be quite long as your body didn't get a chance to labour the first time. I would fully recommend doing your research and if you choose to go for VBAC then do everything possible to give yourself the best birth possible. Stay fit and healthy, don't put on too much weight, and check out this website about fetal positioning. www.spinningbabies.com I used many of the techniques during my second pregnancy and labour and I know they made a huge difference.

Remember, a natural birth is a beautiful thing, and definitely to be desired, but the ultimate thing you're after is a healthy new baby! All the best!

Sharon - posted on 04/25/2012

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I am a 55 year old mom who had 4 children. My first was an emergency C-section back in 1974. Back then it was a BIG no-no to ever deliver naturally after a C-section. My second child, 5 years later, came so fast that she was delivered in the emergency room, naturally, while my Dr. was waiting in surgery to do a section. I had no problem at all. A few years later i needed another section due to preeclampsia. With my 4th child my Dr. said lets try for natural and see what happens. It turned out to be my best delivery, naturally. So, I had section, natural, section, natural and never had any problems at all. Hope this is an encouragement to you.

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Grace - posted on 05/01/2012

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If you had a classical the first time, it is too dangerous to try, so if you don't know find out if they did a classical or low transverse. If you had low transverse, and if your doctor is not supportive of VBACs, find one right now who is. Take life one day at a time. If you are not already doing so, cut back on fats, salt and processed food. Work all of the colors of vegetables and fruit into your diet (red, green, yellow, orange, blue and purple), and eat eggs, yogurt and lean meats. This will help cut your risk of pre-ecclampsia, maybe not to zero, but hopefully to the point where you can take the days needed for induction if needed. You will need to be monitored more closely during labor. While the risk for rupture is not zero, it is still relatively low, and with the proper care you should do just fine.

Nicole - posted on 04/30/2012

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I had a vbac with my fourth baby after having 3 csections. I delivered in a hospital and had a supportive dr and two wonderful nurses. My baby was 12 days late and weighed 9lbs 5oz. I had to basically sign my life away but it was so worth it for me. I was told that I was the first ever vbac after 3 sections at the hospital..and told to keep it quiet. when i asked my dr what type of delivery I would have if I were to get pregnant again and he said vaginal.. I feel for me what really helped me get thru was expecting the worst but hoping for the best. I knew that if myself or my baby were ever at risk I would do what was necessary for both of us to be healthy. I hope you are able to have as good of an experience with your vbac as I did.

Angie - posted on 04/27/2012

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VBAC!



I had a c-section with my first because she was breech. My second was delivered naturally just 15 months later! My third was also born naturally 21 months after my second.



Don't be scared into another c-section. There are risks no matter which way you go, it's just that one is more convenient for your doctor and the other is better for you and baby.



I would also like to add, I was supposed to go to the hospital right away with my second so they could monitor me. I was assured that your uterus won't just explode (lol - can you tell I was concerned about rupture, too) rupturing is a process and that as long as they are monitoring you, they can tell if you're starting to rupture and then do a c-section. Anyhow, I had never been in labor before and since it was a week before my due date, I thought there was no way I could be in labor. When I finally went to the hospital, my baby was born just 2 hours later. We're both fine!

Janice - posted on 04/26/2012

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I'm going to join most of the other posters here. I would highly recommend it if you're already considering it. The risk of rupture is still a smaller risk than the risks of C-section. Do some research- not just to do compare C-section and VBAC, but to gain a confidence in your decision- it will help a lot in that "what was I thinking" phase in delivery ;).

My dr. told me I would not be able to deliver naturally if I couldn't deliver my 5 lb 11 oz twin... I sought another opinion and switched offices after researching. I did have to travel about twice as far to deliver in a hospital that would allow VBACs- the major deal is they need 24/7 coverage for anesthesiology- not just on call- in the very off chance of a rupture. This never really made sense to me- they do "emergency" C-sections all the time, and ANYONE can have a uterine rupture- but it is what it is.

I was able to have the best of both worlds- delivering with a midwife, but at a fully equipped hospital in case of emergency. I KNOW I would have had another C-section had I delivered with a Doctor- My water broke but I had no contractions and ended up going well over the 24 hour mark before delivering. I had to be induced to get labor going since nothing else was working (a big fear since I'd read about inductions being less desirable for VBACs). I also finally opted for the epidural after long relentless back labor and major sleep deprivation- yet another "no-no" in the optimal VBAC scenario. All that to say, even if it doesn't go "perfectly" you can still successfully VBAC- just make sure your doctor or midwife is very supportive of VBACs, not just tolerating them. I will definitely go that route again for any future pregnancies.

Kristin - posted on 04/26/2012

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Oh, I also want to add, my kids were born 21 months apart. My OB said that I was looking like having another large baby and my chances of a successful VBAC were "at best 45%" And my VBAC went as perfectly as any could have! So don't be discouraged by the statistics, but do be wise. I would recommend labouring at a facility that has the emergency equipment needed in the unlikely event that you're the minority who ruptures!

Lorin - posted on 04/26/2012

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It depends on how long ago you had your c-section ... they say wait 3 years to have another child because it takes about that to fully heal from the inside out !! Talk to your OB they should tell you !!

Humaira - posted on 04/26/2012

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Vbac! U will heal so much better faster and there will be no real long term effects. I had 1st section and did Vbac for #2. Everything was torn, I won't lie but the OB stitched me up nice and tight so now its like I never had A vaginal birth if u catch my drift. U will be much more alert etc after the birth too. I was dancing at my cousins wedding in 2 weeks vs not even making it up the stairs w the C. I'm preg with #3 :)N hope I can do another Vbac. Fingers crossed.

Shayna - posted on 04/26/2012

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My first was an emergency c-section, after I just couldn't take it when her head got stuck coming out... When she was 9 mos old, I conceived my 2nd, so they are 18 mos apart. My OB who did the surgery for DD1 asked me whether I wanted to VBAC, and I said in a passing conversation that I was thinking about it. Well, long story short, I went to the hospital at the right time, and delivered another healthy daughter. My doctors recommend waiting 2 years to get pregnant after a c-section so you have a chance to heal up thoroughly. Obviously, I wasn't very good at listening. :) My point is I would have been a better risk of rupture for not following doctor's orders, but while I was in labor, the doctors on duty came in once in a while to check on me, see how dilated I was, and read my vitals, but other than that, they pretty much let me do the work I had to on my own. I would think that if a VBAC was THAT much of a risk, there would have been someone there the entire time. :) You can do it, tell yourself that it's the best thing for your baby, you'll heal up faster, etc etc... Put your mind to it, and do as much as you can to be ready. Lots of squats, healthy diet, and tons of WALKING. Get those muscles ready! Good luck, and try not to worry yourself. Women STILL give birth in fields, ALONE, in many other countries!

Beth - posted on 04/26/2012

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I opted for a 2nd c-section b/c of the risk -- even though the percentage is small for rupturing, of the ones who rupture there's a high percentage of irreparable damage to the baby. I decided that I didn't want to risk carrying a perfectly healthy baby for 9 months, only to have something cause brain damage during delivery b/c I had wanted a certain delivery. A healthy baby was more important to me.

Valerie - posted on 04/26/2012

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I wouldn't worry about rupturing. I know it's a reasonable concern, but with all the statistics and stories I've heard, it is highly unlikely to happen. I'm the 1% that everything seems to happen to and somehow I was able to push that possibility out of my mind and attempted a vbac back in 2010. My doctor said that it was like .01% chance... very small. and if it did happen they would have some indications before hand.

With my vbac, I accidentally labored at home... I was thinking it was prelabor because the contractions were not regular. I ended up doing just 3 hours of very intense active labor all at home unmonitored (no rupturing and I was 0 cm that morning so I dialated really quick). I arrived at the hospital and thought I was 5 cm, I was fully dialated and ready to push. the more stories you hear like this, the more you will begin to trust your body and what it was made to do. prepare for anything in your birth plan and mentally prepare too. I did end up with an emergency c-section after pushing for three hours. the baby wouldn't engage, they suspect I'm the small percentage of people with a narrow or misaligned pelvis (and that diagnosis came from a pro-vbac doctor even). I arrived too late for epidural so I felt everything... until they put the spinal in on the OR table, while I was contracting. I was sure I was going to be paralyzed at that moment. I was awake for the birth and do not regret a thing.(I had included in my birth plan that I wanted certain things to happen in the event of c-section and everything happened, plus the midwife took pictures of my baby being born which was so awesome.) You would be surprised that when you are mentally prepared you heal quicker too. my daughter was very alert... she had no meds really since they did it all so fast. so in a way I feel I did it naturally, just not the pushing out part. :) good luck to you! whatever you decide to do will be great... as long as you are able to make the choice and prepare for the birth to go your way either way it happens.

Kelly - posted on 04/26/2012

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I had preeclampsia with my first and was induced. It ended with an emergency c-section. I am happy to say that I was able to vbac with my 2nd and 3rd. It was the best choice for me. Recovery was easier. Everything was easier. My advice is try for the vbac if you have the option but keep an open mind. The bottom line is you want to have a healthy baby while keeping yourself healthy. Yes there is a slight chance for a rupture but it is unlikely. They will monitor you. With my first vbac I could not get out of bed with my second I had more freedom because they say if you are going to rupture it would happen with your first vbac Good luck and I definitely say try for the vbac

Ann - posted on 04/26/2012

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Rupture can happen in any labor...VBAC is definitely the way to go, try not to have many interventions such as artificial rupture of membranes and epidurals or any pain meds....all of these things can slow things down. VBAC vs C-section is so much better for you and baby, surgical birth should only be done if absolutely no other option.

Heather - posted on 04/26/2012

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Talk to your doctor about this. I had a c-section with my first child after 20 hours of labor and my contractions had stopped. Than they gave me drugs to boost my contractions and it was distressing the baby, so we had to go with a c-section. I was exhausted.
Now I am 6 months pregnant and looking forward to a c-section this time around. Plus my local hospital does not offer VBAC procedure, I would have to travel over 100 miles to go to that hospital. Talk to your Doctor.

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Go with what you're comfortable with. I had a c-section with my first son (20 hours after our water broke, hard labor with no rests between contractions, never dilated past 6—it appears that mine is one of those rare bodies that DOESN't know what to do during birth); even though it wasn't what I wanted, hey...healthy baby, and that's really all that matters. I wanted to go on and do a VBAC, but my body threw me a loop when First Son was 15 months old. I developed a blood clot in my brain—likely due to a form of meningitis, but the possibility of a clotting issue meant that when I finally got pregnant again when my son was six (infertility issues—my body apparently SUCKS at doing what people say comes naturally,) I had to be on blood thinners for the majority of the pregnancy (estrogen increases our clotting factors.) That meant that the risk of bleeding out or causing harm to the baby in case of a rupture was intensely magnified, so I had to throw my idea of a VBAC out the window. I'll admit that I'm glad I did...this little guy had the cord wrapped around his neck three times when they lifted him out. I realize that's not necessarily fatal, but...oy!
All of that is to say...choose what you're comfortable with and what your doctor advises. Delivery is stressful enough without added pressures for a "perfect" experience. (And...I might be the odd one here...but I bounced back faster from this second c-section than I did from the first. I'm guessing that it had something to do with not having 20 hours of excruciating contractions beforehand...)

Jenny - posted on 04/26/2012

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Good for you for wanting a VBAC! Consider getting a midwife to be with you in the hospital as your own personal advocate to advise you and to assist you in talking to the doctors. A lot of people may try to get you to change your mind when a VBAC has less risk than a c-section.

Happy - posted on 04/26/2012

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@ Emily, I didn't say that all doctor's will do VBACs. I was simply stating that a doctor who says, "Once a c-section, always a c-section" as Susie implied, is lying or uneducated or both.

Edeline - posted on 04/26/2012

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I had a VBAC last year in september.My kids are 23 months apart.My doc was against it coz he said its too early and i might rupture but i insisted on it.I had a pain on the left side of my pelvis for the first month.My doc said i should wait for 8 weeks and if the pain persists i should go back and see him,the pain went away within some weeks before 8 weeks.He said maybe it was a possible rupture.All i know is all went well.my labour was 5 1/2 hours and i had my son.
It was the best thing i did coz i get to experience the natural way of having my baby.
My friend had a VBAC and she had discovered she was preg when her baby was only 4 mnths old.She also had a smooth delivery.

Go for it its worth it

Camie - posted on 04/25/2012

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You and your baby deserve a natural delivery. I just had my vbac at home in Oct. and it was the most amazing experience of my life. If your primary concern is uterine rupture then as the ladies already said your risk is extremely low. Pretty much just as low as any other mama. When I did my research I learned that a 2nd section carried more risk that a vaginal delivery not to mention ALL the benefits of a vaginal birth.
The keys is finding the right provider. I highly recommend getting on ICAN (International Cesarean Awareness Network) and starting your research and also find your local group for provider recs and support. Also, go to a meeting if you have one close by. You can definitely do this. Good luck mama and congrats!

Denise - posted on 04/25/2012

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Your concern is perfectly normal. I was in the same boat. My first pregnancy I had a c-section and wanted to try for a natural birth with my second. Everything worked out fine and I had no issues with delivering naturally. As long as they did the incision correctly with your first, the risk is so low with your second that there should be no need to worry. Make sure your doctor is on board with everything and understands your concerns. They might be able to give you some more facts to further put you at ease.

Kathren - posted on 04/25/2012

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My 1st was a c-section due to her being breech. I was so dissappointed I tried having her turned & everything before she was born with no success. She was 9lbs 9ozs (probably why she didn't turn). When I was pregnant with my second my doctor really encouraged me to have a vbac but the closer we got to the due date the more I wanted a c-section because I just had a feeling she was big. They did an ultrasound about a week or so before the due date & said she was only 7lbs or so but to go ahead & schedule a csection. If she comes before the c-section, we'll due it natural . Needless to say she waited 'til her appt & thank goodness she waited, she was 9lbs 8ozs! Point is I researched & found for me the safest route was vbac at first but the safest route can change. Do the research & found out which is safest for you. God bless!

Emily - posted on 04/25/2012

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Sorry, I tried to respond to the ACOG article...

I had a VBAC w/ my second and all went well and plan a

VBAC with my third in June.

Emily - posted on 04/25/2012

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Acog does state this, but it IS also very true that MANY OB's will not attempt a VBAC

Nicole - posted on 04/25/2012

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I will be attempting a VBAC as well :-) Do you research and make sure it is current information...it will put you more at ease.

Heather - posted on 04/25/2012

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It's all about finding a provider that will let you try VBAC. I had my first naturally with a midwife, second was a c-section due to being breech, the third was natural with a midwife. No problems with either natural deliveries.

Angelena - posted on 04/25/2012

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I had a vbac with my 2nd child and i was grateful i did. Things that you need to consider are: does your dr even do vbac, my first dr wouldn't. Does the hospital allow vbac's, some do not. Also the dr has to be "on campus" which means that they need to be in close proximity to be able to do a c section if anything goes wrong. I was amazed at the recovery I had with a vbac, which was great, compared to the c section. Good luck. Do your research and do what is best for you.

Susie - posted on 04/25/2012

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VBac after a C-Section is a high-risk. You obstetrician should be with you during the entire labor process monitoring your contractions. I work at Women's Healthcare of Kendall, in Miami, we specialize in high risk pregnancies. We advise our patient that once a C-Section, always a C-Section. Why take the risk?

Tee - posted on 04/25/2012

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If you really want to try VBAC then find a doctor/hospital that will support you. Also make sure that the doctor is specialized with working with high risk moms and will watch for signs of pre-e emerging.

Happy - posted on 04/24/2012

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Uterine rupture occurs in less than 1% of all VBACs. You have better chances of being hit by a bus! No OB is going to even consider letting you do a trial of labor if it were at ALL risky. As a matter of fact, a repeat c-section has greater risk than a VBAC. I have had one VBAC and will be having my second within the next 2 weeks.

Check out ICAN website for mpre info. http://blog.ican-online.org/tag/risks/

Kate CP - posted on 04/24/2012

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According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), if you had a previous cesarean with a low transverse incision, the risk of uterine rupture in a vaginal delivery is .2 to 1.5%, which is approximately 1 chance in 5001.

So, if you really want to try a VBAC then find a provider who is willing to let you go for it. Some hospitals have policies that strictly forbid VBACs so before you go with a provider who's okay with the idea, check to make sure the hospital or birthing center you're going to go to allows VBACs.

Sarah - posted on 04/24/2012

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I had a v-bac and it was the best thing I did. Firstly you need to get a midwife who has experience of vbacs and she can advise you about whether she thinks it's a good idea.

Do some research. It should put your mind at rest,as uterine rupture is actually quite rare, even with a vbac.

Something to consider with repeat sections is how many chidren are you planning on having? A lot of doctors don't recommend any more than 3 sections.

Good luck.

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