8 Tips to Follow That May Better Your Chances of a Successful VBAC

I have always been weary of having a c-section. The idea that after carrying a baby for 9+ months, then having major surgery, immediately followed by taking care of a newborn, just seems so tiring and painful to me. I am thankful that I have been able to avoid the need for a c-section myself, but also recognize that in some cases a c-section is definitely needed.

It used to be recommended that once you’ve had a c-section delivery, your subsequent deliveries should also be c-sections due to the risk of a uterine rupture. That’s not the automatic recommendation anymore though. According to Giving Birth with Confidence, your chances of having a vaginal birth after c-section (VBAC) has an average success rate of 74%, which is great news for those who wish to avoid a repeat c-section.

There is a lot more understanding now on the actual risks of a uterine rupture during a VBAC. The rate is thought to be only occur in less than 1% of births. Your chances of avoiding another c-section and having a successful VBAC can go even higher by following a few tips.

Please keep in mind that these are just suggestions and you should always consult with your doctor about your birth plan and what the best course of action is for your body.

Click through to read 8 tips that could help you better your chances of a successful VBAC:

  • Hire a Doula 1 of 8
    Doulas offer great support during labor and one area they can be really helpful is when you hope for a VBAC. Research has shown that using a doula during labor can reduce need for c-sections and other medical interventions which may reduce chances of a vbac.
    Source: DONA International
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Space Your Pregnancies 2 of 8
    Allowing time for your scar to heal and your uterus to get stronger between pregnancies can help your chances of avoiding another c-section. Waiting at least 18 months between pregnancies can help decrease your need for a repeat c-section.
    Sources: Path to VBAC, Giving Birth with Confidence
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Get a Supportive Doctor 3 of 8
    Having your doctor on your side is a huge benefit to a successful VBAC. If your doctor/hospital is not "VBAC friendly" find one who is and knows your history.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Avoid Non-Emergent Inductions 4 of 8
    Uterine rupture is the main reason people are weary of a VBAC. Reducing the need for labor induction with pitocen can lower the risk of a rupture and increase the chances of a successful vaginal birth.
    Source: Giving Birth With Confidence
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Find Out What Happened Before 5 of 8
    Get the records of your last birth or make an appointment and talk with your doctor. Find out why you had a c-section the first time and discuss what happened and how you could avoid a similar issue this time.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Exercise and Eat Well 6 of 8
    Being in good overall health can increase your chances of a vaginal birth and an easier labor (which is a bonus for a VBAC). Make sure you get enough exercise and eat a well-balanced diet.
    Source: Just Mommies
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Avoid an Early Epidural 7 of 8
    Pain medications such as an epidural have been known to slow the baby's heart rate and make labor longer. These side effects can mimic warning signs of uterine rupture or increase the chances, so avoiding an early epidural or forgoing all together can help increase your chance of a successful VBAC.
    Source: Path to VBAC
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Educate Yourself 8 of 8
    Talk to friends who have had a VBAC, join a message board and read all you can on how to increase your chances. The more you know, the better you will be able to advocate for your wishes.
    Photo credit: photostock

Photo credit: adapted from iStockPhoto


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Article Posted 6 years Ago

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