Vaginal Birth After Caesarean

Source :      Pubdate : 2013/1/18 13:43:00      Author :


Can we? Should we? Will we?

There are many reasons a woman may want to have a vaginal birth after a caesarean (VBAC). Some of these reasons are to avoid the physical effect of a caesarean section and others are the emotional desire to give birth vaginally to a baby. Becoming pregnant after a previous caesarean section can be a time of worry for women. They may not know where to turn for balanced information or support. Every woman wants to do the best thing for herself and her baby when it comes to the birth.

According to the latest Australian statistics, nearly one in three (30.3 percent) women giving birth in Australia have a caesarean. The reality is many women who have a caesarean will go on to have another baby. While we know the likelihood of a woman having a successful VBAC is between 70 and 80 percent, in Australia around 83 percent of women will have a repeat caesarean. This varies between hospitals and even states and appears to be more to do with the attitude of doctors and institutions to VBAC than the abilities or desires of women to have a vaginal birth.

Why are some doctors reluctant for women to have a VBAC?
The main reason behind the decline in VBAC is the risk of litigation. A couple of successful malpractice suites involving VBAC have made obstetricians nervous. The fact they rarely get sued for doing a caesarean makes VBAC seem like a safer option for them. If safety guidelines are followed the reality is VBAC is as safe as planned caesarean for the baby, safer for the mother, and much safer for both during future pregnancies.

The facts

  •  Most women can birth vaginally after a caesarean (70-80 percent). This is about the same chance of having a vaginal birth as a woman having her first baby.
  • With proper care and caution, VBAC is equally safe for the baby and safer for the woman.
  • Inappropriate obstetric management, especially the induction and speeding up of the labour makes VBAC most dangerous for women and their babies.
  • Caesarean section, especially multiple caesarean sections, increases risk to women and babies.
  • Women are more likely to breastfeed successfully after a vaginal birth and less likely to be depressed.

Who is a candidate for VBAC?

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