Vaginal birth after a caesarean has become quite common. Initially it was avoided on the grounds of minimising risk of uterine rupture at the scar of previous caesarean.
As the name implies Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) is the term used when women who had undergone caesarean, deliver her next child vaginally. According to the American Pregnancy Association, about 60 to 80% of women who had caesarean section can safely give birth vaginally.
Advantages of VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarean)
Advantages of vaginal birth after caesarean are almost same to that of normal vaginal birth.
- It decreases the chances of further need of surgical delivery.
- Decreases the risk of blood clots and infections that are common in C-section.
- With vaginal birth the need of blood transfusion and hysterectomy also goes down.
- Reduce possible risk of placental praevia in future pregnancy.
- Women who deliver baby vaginally need not get admitted to Intensive care Unit (ICU).
- In vaginal delivery, internal organs of woman are less likely to get injured.
Disadvantages of VBAC
The disadvantages of VBAC are similar to those experienced by women during vaginal delivery.
- Like any other delivery method post VBAC women experience perineal pain.
- Urinary stress incontinence in the initial three months after pregnancy.
- Increase chances of prolapsed (womb dropping) in the later years of women’s life.
- In case of VBAS there is high risk of uterine rupture, this can put your you and your baby at risk. Ruptured uterus can call for surgical removal of uterus to prevent blood loss.
- If VBAC is not successful then you may need to undergo emergency caesarean.
Who can go for Vaginal Birth after Caesarean?
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, a woman is fit for VBAS only if she meets the following criteria:
- If you never had uterine rupture.
- If you haven’t undergone any uterine surgeries such as myomectomy.
- If the caesarean incision was low-transverse and horizontal. But if you had vertical or T-shaped incision then VBAC can put you at greater risk of uterine rupture.
- If you don’t have any obstetric problem that would increase risk in vaginal delivery. Placenta praevia or large fibroid are such medical condition.
- Your labour must be monitored by doctor who can perform emergency caesarean.
Experts are of view that having vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) is safer than previously thought. It is better option than the second caesarean.
Read more articles on Childbirth (Delivery)
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