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Vaginal birth after a cesarean section

by Randy Shannon

by Dr. Tom Reinardy, MD, posted on behalf of Mercy Medical Center

A Cesarean delivery – also known as a C-section – is a surgical procedure used to deliver a baby through an incision in the mother’s abdomen. 

If you had or need to have a C-section delivery, you may have the ability to deliver your next baby vaginally. The decision to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is one of the most individually designed choices that a woman can make in childbirth. It requires a thorough discussion regarding the benefits and risks for each patient. Every pregnancy has specific characteristics to consider, which is why no one choice is the same for everyone. 

There is a lot of information about VBAC, but it does not apply to all circumstances. Research often suggests certain ways of managing this choice but it all comes down to the patient and their circumstances. As medical professionals, we want to do what is best for the patient. 

Risk consideration is something that both health care provider and patient have to be comfortable with. The goal of every pregnancy is to have a healthy mother and a healthy child. Providing patients with the most information is an important part of the prenatal visit. 

Often decisions like this develop over the course of the entire pregnancy. Establishing regular care and thorough discussion with a provider is a key to having a healthy outcome. The potential for a truly respectful and lasting partnership is greater and can result in a satisfying birth experience for all. 

If you are thinking of having VBAC make an appointment with your health care provider to discuss a birth plan early in your pregnancy.