To learn more about VBACs, go to Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC).
Why try a VBAC? Without a doubt, vaginal births are much less risky for both mother and baby. Caesarean sections are major surgery. This is why the scientific community and health officials prefer VBACs when then conditions allow for them to take place safely. But even if VBACs can be very positive, this type of delivery also involves inconveniences associated with a first natural birth.
VBAC benefits for women (the same as natural childbirth):
- Avoid surgery: wound, pain, restricted mobility, blood loss, risk of surgical complications, etc. Recovery time will be faster for the mother
- Less postnatal fever and hemorrhages during childbirth, so less need for blood transfusions
- Better postnatal recovery
- Allows skin-to-skin after birth
- Reduces hospitalisation (2 days rather than 3-4 after a caesarean section)
- Reduces healthcare costs
- Less post-childbirth pain when moving, as no wounds in the lower stomach
- Satisfactory emotional experience
VBAC benefits for the baby:
- In most cases direct contact with the mother after childbirth
- Fewer respiratory problems
- Faster breastfeeding
VBAC inconveniences for the mother:
- More supervision and monitoring during labour
- Potentially more prolonged labour and more pain
- The potential use of forceps or vacuum extractor
- Possible perineal discomfort after childbirth (episiotomy, tearing)
- Possible increase of prolapse (organs descending after pushing and the pressure the baby exerts while descending)
- More frequent urine loss
- Risk of uterine rupture
Uterine rupture is a tearing of the uterine muscle, which can occur during pregnancy or childbirth. If this happens, there will be an emergency caesarean section. This childbirth complication affects 8/1000 women. Even if it is a rare occurrence, caregivers will carefully watch for this during a VBAC. The uterine muscle is weaker due to the presence of a previous wound, which can predispose a mother giving birth to this kind of complication.
To continue reading, go to VBAC Success Rates.