Many women who had a C-section in the past want to avoid having another one. A vaginal birth after a C-section (VBAC) can shorten their hospital stay and eliminate their chances of experiencing any complications associated with surgery.
Women who want a larger family can also benefit from VBAC because each subsequent C-section comes with an increased risk for infections and placental issues.
An estimated 70-80% of women who try VBAC are successful. However, VBAC isn’t safe for everyone. Our team at Westover Hills Women's Health put together a short guide to help you decide if VBAC is the best option for you and your baby.
What makes you a good candidate for VBAC
You may be able to opt for a vaginal delivery if you fall into the following categories:
- Are 35 years old or younger
- Are at a healthy weight
- Had a horizontal C-section incision
- Have blood pressure in the healthy range
- Have blood sugar levels in the healthy range
- Had a previous successful vaginal delivery
Although VBAC is less taxing on the mother and can reduce the risk for respiratory problems in your infant, you still have to be in overall good health if you want to attempt it.
When VBAC isn’t recommended
Dr. Al-Hakeem may advise against a VBAC if you fall in any of the following categories:
- Have a BMI of 30 or greater
- Are delivering a baby that’s over 10 pounds
- Have high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels
- Had a C-section less than 18 months ago
- Had vertical or T-shaped incisions
- Had multiple C-sections
- Are past your due date
- Had difficult labor or emergency C-sections
A VBAC calculator can also shed some light on whether your body can handle a vaginal delivery.
Learn more about VBAC
Although reading up on the risks of VBAC can be beneficial, only a medical professional with access to your medical history can determine whether you’re a good candidate for VBAC or not.
Some women may have to opt for a repeat C-section if the state of their health doesn’t allow them to give birth vaginally. But if you’re an overall healthy individual and haven’t experienced delivery complications in the past, VBAC can reduce your recovery time as well as lower your risk for infections and blood loss.
If you live near San Antonio, Texas, and want to find out if you’re a good candidate for VBAC, contact us to schedule an appointment and receive expert advice.