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Health Information For Parents
I had a C-section with my first child. Now that I’m pregnant with my second, I’d really like to try to have a vaginal delivery. But is that safe — for me and my baby?
Many women who have had a cesarean section (or C-section) with their first pregnancy are interested in a vaginal delivery for their second or later births. For years, women who’d had a C-section were encouraged to skip vaginal deliveries altogether and schedule C-sections for all future births.
But these days, a vaginal birth after cesarean (or VBAC) is considered a safe option for many women and their babies. And, with a vaginal delivery, you can come home sooner and recover quicker.
The reason for your first C-section, the type of incision made on your uterus, and other factors in your medical history will determine whether or not you can have a VBAC:
The incision on your skin does not necessarily go in the same direction as the incision on your uterus. Also, if you’ve had more than one C-section, a VBAC might not be an option.
Of course, not all women who try to have a VBAC succeed. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that about 60% to 80% of women who try to have a VBAC succeed.
Although a VBAC does come with risks, many women are able to have one with no complications at all. If you’re interested in having a VBAC, talk to your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits. And check with your hospital well in advance to make sure they’ll allow it — if they don’t and you have your heart set on a vaginal birth, you may need to change hospitals.
Advice and information for expectant and new parents.
Epidurals can make giving birth more calm, controlled, and comfortable. Find out more.
Some women choose to give birth using no medications at all, relying instead on relaxation techniques and controlled breathing for pain. Get more information on natural childbirth.
Many babies are delivered via cesarean sections. Learn why and how C-sections are done.
Where you choose to give birth is an important decision. Is a hospital or a birth center right for you? Knowing the facts can help you make your decision.
After giving birth, you’ll notice you’ve changed somewhat – both physically and emotionally. Here’s what to expect after labor and delivery.
Find out what the experts have to say.
The reality of labor and birth may seem extremely far off – but now’s the time to start planning for your baby by creating a birth plan that details your wishes.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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