A VBAC is the term used to describe a vaginal birth after a C section. There are pros and cons associated with the procedure, and women should be well aware of both before and should also have a professional assess their situation before taking a call on whether a VBAC is recommended or not in a given case.
The Pros of the VBAC
The vaginal delivery is the natural and obvious way to give birth and one that is known to be safer for the mother and child with fewer risks and possible complications. So the many benefits of a vaginal delivery are itself what the VBAC delivery has to recommend for itself.
Woman with a prior C section could well feel that she has been denied a chance to experience a natural delivery that first time around and may feel strongly about delivering her baby naturally this time around.
Cons of a VBAC
The main risk of opting for a VBAC is the fact that it carries with it a slight chance of a uterine rupture during labor. This rupture is possible along the incision line from the previous C section.
Although the chance of having a uterine rupture is low (only about a 2% chance of this occurring) it can be potentially life threatening, and even that 2% chance is one that the mother may be unwilling to take.
Things to consider before opting for a VBAC
The type of incision should be taken into account. If it was the transverse incision (the bikini line cut), then this is safer for a VBAC rather than a vertical incision.
The reason for the previous C section is also important to consider. If fetal distress or breech position of the baby were the reasons for a previous C section, a VBAC can be considered. However, if the C section was necessary because a woman’s pelvic structure is too narrow or if her cervix did not dilate the last time around, then a VBAC may not be a good choice this time around.
Also consider the fact that if you do decide in favor of a VBAC and something then goes wrong you may have to still undergo a C section, which may mean that you had to undergo the labor pain of a natural delivery as well as the painful recovery of a C section.
Another thing to consider is whether the hospital that you plant to deliver in permits VBACs and whether your doctor recommends it, after considering all the factors.