What You Need To Know About Having a Vaginal Birth After C - Section

vaginal birth after c section post pregnancy

C-section delivery is a growing phenomenon today. However, it is equally common for couples to opt for a vaginal birth during the second pregnancy after a C-section delivery the first time around. This makes sense, as a vaginal birth is healthier for the baby as well as the mommy, and it’s easier for the mom to recover from a vaginal birth as compared to a C-section. Having said that, mothers with a prior C-section need to take certain precautions when they opt for a vaginal birth the second time around. Let’s understand all about a vaginal birth after having a Caesarean one the first time.

What are the benefits of a vaginal birth?

The benefits of a regular, vaginal delivery include:

- No scarring on the uterus, like the mother would have to endure during a C-section. This is crucial for future pregnancies, as the more scars on the uterus, the higher the complications during future pregnancies. 

- Having a vaginal birth for your second pregnancy is much safer than a repeat C-section. 

- You have a lower risk of infections in this type of delivery. 

- Compared to a C-section, your recovery from a vaginal delivery is faster, and you spend much lesser time in the hospital. 

- You experience lesser pain after the delivery. 

- The labour pain produces stress hormones that prepare your baby for life outside of the uterus, compared to a C-section delivery, where the baby is exposed to the outside world too suddenly. 

What are the risks of a vaginal birth after a C-section?

As beneficial as it may be for the mother as well as the baby, a vaginal birth for those with a history of C-section is not without its fair share of risks.

- The more serious risk is that the C-section scar could rupture and tear open during labour. Although the occurrence of this is rare, the likelihood exists. And if it happens, it can cause grave damage to the mother as well as the baby. This could call for an emergency C-section delivery.

- In case you need to undergo an emergency C-section, you are at a greater risk of developing an infection. 

- Complications can lead to tremendous blood loss, which in turn will require a blood transfusion. 

- In certain extreme cases, the mother may have to undergo an emergency hysterectomy that may prevent any chances of another pregnancy in the future. 

Is a vaginal birth after C-section safe for all mothers?

While a C-section only once doesn’t pose much of a threat to the mother and the baby, a number of factors come into play to determine the eligibility of a vaginal birth.

- The type of uterine incision used the first time. C-section incisions are of two types – a transverse incision in the lower part of the uterus and a vertical incision in the upper part of the uterus. Ideally, only women who have undergone a transverse C-section are eligible for a vaginal delivery to prevent any damage to the uterus.

- What were the circumstances of the first C-section? If the first C-section was a matter of personal choice or a condition that doesn’t exist anymore such as the position of the baby, then it’s completely safe for a vaginal birth. But if more complex matters prompted a C-section, then a vaginal birth may not be a safe choice, and you should consult with your obstetrician on this for a final call. 

- The amount of time passed between the last C-section and present delivery. Attempting a vaginal birth within 24 months of the last C-section could be extremely risky and may cause a uterine rupture. It is ideal to wait for enough time to pass between the last C-section and the next vaginal birth so your uterus can heal fully. 

Despite the various benefits, it’s important to discuss matters thoroughly with your obstetrician to avoid risks and dangers. Take the time during your second pregnancy itself to make an informed decision. All the best! 
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