Unless your previous pregnancy had serious complications that pre-empted a caesarean, there is no reason why your second delivery can’t be a normal one. Of course, the chances of success are higher, if your c-section was a smooth one and also much depends on how your second pregnancy has been progressing along.
But no matter what, it is impossible to predict which women will have a vaginal delivery and which will have a c-section. However, if you are considering a vaginal birth after a c-section, here are a few things you should know before you take any decision.
You Could consider Vaginal Birth After A C-Section (VBAC) if:
You’ve Had A Good Interval Between Two Pregnancies:When the gap between two pregnancies is very short, it doesn’t give enough time for the uterus to heal and recover to bear the pressure of a vaginal delivery. When the uterus is weak, chances are it could lead to rupture of the uterine wall and internal bleeding during delivery. This could be severely harmful for both baby and mother. A reasonably good gap for VBAC is about 18-24 months after the first one.
The Fetal Weight And Position Are Normal: The baby’s weight in the womb should be around 3.5 kg to undergo a VBAC. Large babies increase the risk of uterine ruptures and perineal tears. Also, the baby has to be in the head-down position prior to labor. The pelvis should also be large enough to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal, if not, VBAC isn’t advisable.
Incision Of Your Previous C-Section Was Horizontal:If your previous cesarean incision was vertical or T-shaped, it’s not a good idea to opt for a VBAC as these kind of incisions put you at a higher risk for uterine rupture than that of a low-transverse uterine incision (horizontal).
You’ve Had Spontaneous Labour: Vaginal deliveries are not very successful if you’ve had induced labor as it increases the risk of uterine rupture.
You’re Optimum Weight And Under 34 Years:Studies show that obese and overweight women generally are not successful in delivering vaginally. Similarly, women between 21 and 34 years are less like to experience VBAC related complication as compared to those over 35 years.
What Are The Benefits Of VBAC?
- Since no abdominal surgery is involved during a vaginal delivery, there is less bleeding and lesser risk of infections.
- In most cases, healing and recovery is quicker during VBAC. So your hospital stay is also shorter. A c-section recovery is slow and takes longer.
The Risks Of VBAC
- If VBAC is unsuccessful, your labor could be prolonged and tiresome and may result in c-section procedure. This unscheduled surgery after labor, could be riskier than a scheduled surgery.
- Unplanned c-section can also mean more bleeding and higher risk of infections. Excessive bleeding could require a blood transfusion or hysterectomy.
- In rare cases, there could be severe complications in the baby which could lead to long-term neurological damage or death of the baby. This is more likely for women who’ve had a failed VBAC resulting in an unplanned c-section.
Tips & Tricks
Prunes and dates are known to strengthen the uterus muscles and ease child delivery. They also reduce chances of bleeding that might occur after delivery.
Methi (Fenugreek) induces and eases the child birth during labor by stimulating uterine contractions and reducing the labor pain. However, excess intake during pregnancy could be counter active as it increases the risk of miscarriage as well as premature childbirth.
One of the ways to tell a false labour from a true one is to time the contractions. False labour contractions are irregular and die down with time, while true labour contractions come at regular intervals and are persistent.
Make a checklist of all things you need to take to the hospital and pack them in your bag so that it’s all ready when you need it. Remember to pack the baby’s stuff too like clothes, nappies, blankets, booties and mittens.
To soothe labour pain, place a hot water compress bag (take care not to fill it with boiling water) on the aching areas and massage your back gently.