What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

If you choose VBAC, your prenatal care will be just like the care you'd receive during any other healthy pregnancy. When you go into labor, you'll follow the same process as any woman expecting to deliver vaginally — although more precautions will be taken during labor. This is called a trial of labor.

Here's what to expect:

  • Early hospitalization. Your health care provider will ask you to report to the hospital promptly if your water breaks or when you begin feeling contractions. Laboring at home with a prior C-section scar isn't recommended.
  • Pain control. If you choose medication, you'll have various options — typically including epidural anesthesia.
  • Continuous electronic monitoring. The medical team will keep a close eye on your baby's heart rate and will check on you often to make sure that labor is progressing normally. A fetal monitor will likely be attached to your baby's scalp.
  • Less tolerance of abnormal labor patterns. A prolonged or difficult labor increases the risk of uterine rupture. Medication to stimulate contractions might pose the same risk. A repeat C-section might be needed if your labor doesn't progress well or your baby doesn't tolerate labor.

Remember, your ultimate goal is a healthy baby and a healthy mom — regardless of how you get there.

Nov. 06, 2012