Preparing for a vaginal birth after caesarian (VBAC)

Posted on: 29 August 2017


Many women who have had a previous caesarian section are eager to try and have a vaginal birth (VBAC) with their next birth, in order to limit the long recovery time and additional risks associated with a caesarian. Here are some steps you can take to make sure you maximise your chances of a successful VBAC. 

Find a supportive obstetrician

Some obstetricians are not eager to perform VBACs as they feel that there is an additional risk of uterine rupture. However that risk is growing less as medical techniques for caesarian sections have improved and create less scar tissue and a smaller wound size now, especially for caesarian sections that are not performed under high speed emergency situations. It is worth flagging early in the pregnancy that you are looking at attempting a VBAC and finding an obstetrician that is happy to work with you on the goal. They can describe to you an situation where they will insist on a caesarian section as well (such as a limit to the time in labour), so that you can be clear on the expectations when you do start labour.

It can be worth asking the obstetricians that you are considering for their rates of overall caesarian sections as well as their rates of VBAC to get an idea of how many vaginal births they successfully supervise through their clinic. 

Take some birthing classes

If you are a little worried or unsure about the labouring process this can make it harder to relax and allow your body to proceed with labour. It can be very useful to find a birthing class at the hospital that you plan to give birth at. Some hospitals offer specific classes for people who are looking at a VBAC where you can ask questions that are specific to your experiences and concerns. 

Follow a healthy lifestyle

Try to follow the lifestyle suggestions that your obstetrician suggests. While a caesarian section can be unavoidable, there are some lifestyle factors that can make it more likely that you will need a caesarian section including not smoking, keeping extra weight off and making sure that you exercise as much as possible. These things helps to ensure that both you and your baby are as healthy as possible and have the best chance of a healthy and intervention free pregnancy. 

Having a VBAC can be a wonderfully healing experience. Finding the right obstetrician can help you to have a successful VBAC.