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What Does VBAC Mean in Pregnancy?

If you’ve become pregnant after having a C-section, you may have asked yourself if having a vaginal birth is still possible for you. Contrary to popular belief, many women have a successful VBAC, or vaginal birth after a cesarean, which means that you may be able to, as well.

What VBAC Means

A vaginal birth after a cesarean is just what it sounds like: having a vaginal delivery after previously having delivered via C-section. For a large part of the last century, doctors have been telling women that if they had a cesarean, all future pregnancies would have to be cesarean deliveries, as well. However, this is simply not true. Today’s modern research shows that up to 85% of VBACs are successful.

The Benefits of VBACs

Many women who have C-sections feel devastated because they hoped to experience a vaginal delivery. VBACs make vaginal birth a very real possibility for these women.

If you are planning to have more children, a VBAC may help reduce the risk of issues related to multiple cesareans, such as bladder or bowel injuries, placenta issues, and unplanned hysterectomies. In fact, by opting for a vaginal birth after a cesarean, you can avoid the general risks of C-section altogether, such as:

  • Infection
  • Blood clots
  • Blood loss
  • Extended recovery period
  • Additional scars on the uterus

With a successful vaginal birth, you can get back to your normal daily activities much sooner and have a lower risk of postpartum depression.

The Risks of VBACs

Of course, every birth has its risks, including VBACs. The most significant danger with vaginal birth after a cesarean is uterine rupture. Although this is a rare complication, it could endanger both you and your baby. If your doctor determines that you are at a high risk of uterine rupture, you should not attempt a VBAC. One determining factor in the success of a vaginal birth after a cesarean is the type of uterine incision your doctor made in your first C-section. Consult your OBGYN to know what sort of incision your doctor made and whether it is safe to attempt a vaginal birth.

How To Prepare for a Vaginal Birth After Cesarean

If your doctor has decided that it is safe for you to try for a vaginal birth after a cesarean, then the best thing you can do to improve your chances of success is to prepare yourself. It’s essential to learn what happens in a vaginal birth, what is different about VBACs, and what circumstances complicate a VBAC plan.

There are many books and online resources that can help you inform yourself about the process and the possible outcomes of VBACs. You may also find it beneficial to read other women’s success stories. Consult with a VBAC-friendly OBGYN that can help you analyze whether or not a VBAC is a feasible option for you.

Your VBAC Questions Answered

To learn more about VBAC delivery and other birth options, find educational events or speak with a VBAC-friendly doula, you can contact us on our website. We’d love to connect with you.