Vaginal birth after cesarean, commonly known as VBAC, is the process of giving birth vaginally after having a previous cesarean delivery. While some women opt for a repeat cesarean delivery, many choose VBAC for various reasons.
Natural Birth Experience
One of the primary reasons why women choose VBAC is that they want to experience a natural birth. Vaginal birth is considered by many to be a more natural and empowering experience than cesarean delivery, which is a major surgery. Women who have previously had a cesarean delivery may feel that they missed out on the opportunity to have a natural birth and want to have that experience with their subsequent children.
Shorter Recovery Time
Recovering from a cesarean delivery can be a long and challenging process. The recovery period is usually longer than that of a vaginal birth, and women may experience more pain and discomfort during this time. Women who choose VBAC typically have a shorter recovery time, and they may be able to return to their normal activities sooner.
Lower Risk of Complications
VBAC is generally considered to be a safer option than repeat cesarean delivery in many cases. Cesarean deliveries come with a higher risk of complications, such as infection, bleeding, and injury to nearby organs. There is also a risk of future complications with subsequent pregnancies, such as placenta previa or placenta accreta, which are more common in women who have had multiple cesarean deliveries. VBAC, on the other hand, carries a lower risk of complications and is generally considered a safe option for most women.
Avoiding Repeat Surgery
Another reason why women may choose VBAC is to avoid having another surgery. Cesarean delivery is a major surgery that comes with significant risks, and some women may want to avoid undergoing surgery again if possible. VBAC allows women to avoid the risks associated with surgery and to have a more natural birth experience.
Giving birth vaginally can confer some specific benefits to babies. During a vaginal birth, the baby is born through the birth canal, which can help stimulate the baby’s respiratory system. As a baby is born, they pick up healthy bacteria from the microbiome of their mother’s birth canal. Studies have shown babies born vaginally may have a more diverse gut microbiome as children and adults and this in turn may impact their lifelong mental and physical health in ways we are still studying. Finally, in the moments immediately after a vaginal birth, baby is placed on their mother’s chest that helps to stabilize the newborn. Often referred to as “Golden Hour” newborns are left to enjoy skin-to-skin cuddles with their mother and this process strengthens and stabilizes a new baby’s breathing, heart beat, temperature and blood sugar levels.
There are many reasons why women may choose VBAC over repeat cesarean delivery. Some want a natural birth experience, a shorter recovery time, or to avoid repeat surgery, while others may be seeking to lower their risk of complications or to promote the health of their baby. Ultimately, the decision to have a VBAC should be made in consultation with a healthcare provider, taking into consideration the woman’s individual medical history and circumstances.
If you are considering a VBAC and want to do increase your chances of success, our VBAC To Birth program will help you examine your previous birth, prepare your mind and body, and guide you to a smoother, more rewarding birth experience. If you are local to the Hamilton Ontario area, you can choose our Birth Support Plus services that give you our unparalleled birth doula support with our specialized VBAC preparation program. Get in touch to discuss how we can help you have a wonderful next birth.