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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery (cont.)

Predicting Successful Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery

Although each woman's pregnancy is unique, and no one factor can predict with certainty who will be successful in having a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), certain factors can help a doctor predict which women might be more successful in delivering their babies vaginally after a cesarean birth:

  • VBAC is less successful in women weighing over 200 pounds.
  • Women over older than 35 years have higher rates for cesarean delivery, and women older than 40 years have a 3-fold higher risk of requiring a cesarean. VBAC tends to be successful much less often in these women.
  • The greater the baby's birthweight, the less the likelihood of successful VBAC.
  • The reason for a previous cesarean delivery can help in decision making. The doctor will carefully examine medical records of previous births to find out why a woman had a cesarean, such as a breech position or other complication. The reason for a previous cesarean birth can be a predictor of success with VBAC.
    • Women who have had a cesarean because of breech positioning or placenta previa had high rates of success with VBAC (77-89% in some studies).
    • A woman who has had no vaginal deliveries or a cesarean delivery performed in the second stage of labor is not a good candidate for VBAC.
    • A woman who has had a previous vaginal delivery may have an 89% success rate for VBAC.
    • If a woman has delivered vaginally after cesarean before, her success rate is 93%.
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