Women consider VBAC for various reasons, including:

  • Shorter recovery time. You'll have a shorter hospital stay after a VBAC than you would after a repeat C-section. Avoiding surgery will help your energy and stamina return more quickly, as well as reduce the expense of childbirth.
  • More participation in the birth. For some women, it's important to experience a vaginal delivery. Your labor coach and others also may be able to play a greater role.
  • Impact on future pregnancies. If you're planning a larger family, VBAC might help you avoid the risks of multiple cesarean deliveries.

The chances of a successful VBAC are higher if:

  • You've had only one prior low transverse uterine incision — the most common type for a C-section
  • You and your baby are healthy and your pregnancy is progressing normally
  • The reason you had your prior C-section isn't a factor this time
  • Your labor begins naturally on or before your due date
  • You've had a previous successful vaginal delivery

The chances of a successful VBAC are lower if:

  • Your pregnancy continues beyond your due date
  • You have an unusually large baby — suspected fetal macrosomia
  • You've had two or more C-sections

You're not a candidate for VBAC if you had a uterine rupture during a previous pregnancy. Similarly, VBAC isn't recommended if you have had a vertical incision in the upper part of your uterus (classical incision) due to the risk of uterine rupture.

June 12, 2015