Font Size

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery (VBAC)

Vaginal Birth after C-Section Quick Overview

Patient Comments
  • Formerly, women who had given birth by Cesarean section (C-section) were always managed with a Cesarean birth in subsequent pregnancies.
  • Today, it is understood that many women can undergo a healthy vaginal birth after a previous C-section (VBAC).
  • Woman who wishes to attempt VBAC will be evaluated to determine if she is a suitable candidate.
  • Most women who attempt VBAC are successful.
  • Women attempting VBAC must be carefully monitored during labor, and if complications arise, a C-section must be performed.
  • Some factors make a successful VBAC less likely, including large infant size, women weighing over 200 pounds, and women over the age of 35.
  • The risk of uterine rupture is the principal risk of VBAC.
  • The type of incision used during a previous C-section is important to determine whether a woman should be offered VBAC.

Can I deliver my baby vaginally if I've had a C-section delivery previously?

Under certain conditions, it is now acceptable for women to attempt a trial of labor (an attempt to deliver the baby vaginally after a previous C-section) in order to complete a vaginal delivery. Many women now have a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (known as VBAC). If the trial of labor is unsuccessful, the woman then undergoes a cesarean birth. Studies have shown that the majority of women who attempt VBAC will be successful. However, the number of babies born vaginally after C-section appears to have peaked, and the percentage of cesarean deliveries is again on the rise.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/17/2017
Medical Author:

Must Read Articles Related to Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery

C-Section (Cesarean Childbirth)
Cesarean Childbirth Cesarean section C-section) is a major abdominal childbirth surgery either planned because existing medical concerns about the mother's and/or child's health ma...learn more >>
Labor (Signs and Symptoms)
Labor Signs

Early signs of pregnancy labor...learn more >>

Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery (VBAC):

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery - Uterine Rupture

Did you experience uterine rupture during VBAC, if so, please share your experience.

Vaginal Birth after Cesarean Delivery - Experience

Did you give birth vaginally after a Cesarean delivery? Please describe your experience.

Is a Trial of Labor Safe?

Having a vaginal birth after having a C-section can be a safe choice for most women. Whether it is right for you depends on several things, including why you had a C-section before and how many C-sections you've had. You and your doctor can talk about your risk for having problems during a trial of labor.

A woman who chooses VBAC is closely monitored. As with any labor, if the mother or baby shows signs of distress, an emergency cesarean section is done.

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Medical Dictionary