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What is a vaginal birth after Cesarean (VBAC)?
If you have had a Cesarean delivery, or C-section, delivering your next baby vaginally is called vaginal birth after Cesarean, or VBAC.
Is it safe?
VBAC may be a safe option if you meet certain requirements, including:
VBAC is considered safe if you are older than 35, have a large fetus, or your pregnancy goes beyond 40 weeks, but these things lower your chance of being able to deliver vaginally.
VBAC is not considered safe if you have:
What are the benefits?
Benefits of VBAC compared to a C-section include:
What are the risks?
The most serious risk of VBAC is that a C-section scar could come open during labor, but this is rare. The risk that a scar will open is low during VBAC when you have just one low C-section scar and your labor is not started with medicine.
What is a VBAC labor and delivery like?
Other than requiring closer monitoring, labor for VBAC is the same as normal labor. During early labor, a woman can remain as active as she wants as there are no specific restrictions for VBAC until active labor begins. During active labor, continuous fetal heart monitoring is done to watch for early signs of fetal distress or uterine rupture.
For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's pregnancy and childbirth services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego OBGYN or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, from 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about pregnancy and childbirth, visit Pregnancy and Childbirth in Adult Health or read the Pregnancy and Childbirth News archive.