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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery (cont.)

What are my chances of giving birth vaginally after having a C-section?

Although each woman's pregnancy is unique, and no one factor can predict with certainty who will achieve a vaginal birth after cesarean, certain factors aid in predicting who will be successful.

  • VBAC is less successful in women weighing over 200 pounds.
  • Women over 35 years of age have higher rates of cesarean delivery, and women older than 40 years have a 3-fold higher risk of requiring a repeat C-section.
  • The greater the infant's birthweight, the less the likelihood of successful VBAC.
  • Women who had their first C-section following a prolonged second stage of labor (i.e. the stage of labor after the cervix has completely dilated) are unlikely to deliver vaginally in a subsequent pregnancy.
  • 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 her initial C- section.

Women who are more likely to have a successful VBAC include those who have had a prior had a prior C-section because of fetal breech position or placenta previa, or have had a prior VBAC.

What are the benefits of having VBAC?

Having a VBAC allows a woman to avoid a major abdominal surgery and the risks of surgery, including bleeding and infection. A VBAC also typically means a shorter hospital stay and easier recovery than with a C-section.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/1/2016
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The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Delivery (VBAC):

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