Birth and labour
I had a caesarean for my first child, can I have a vaginal delivery?
About 70 to 90 percent of women who have had caesareans for one birth go on to have a vaginal delivery for subsequent births. A lot will depend on the reason why you had a previous caesarean section in the first place.
The good news is that success rates with vaginal birth after caesarean, known as VBAC, are documented as being similar to ordinary vaginal deliveries.
Statistically, the risk to mother and baby of a VBAC delivery is lower compared with going on to have another caesarean section.
This is because caesareans carry their own risks in terms of abdominal surgery, blood loss, and other complications.
A VBAC delivery is not risk-free (no birth is), and a tiny percentage of women (0.35 percent) will suffer a uterine rupture. This occurs when the uterus splits along the scar line of the previous caesarean as it contracts. Uterine rupture can also happen with women who haven’t ever had a caesarean, but they are very rare. If your scar is a classic lower horizontal scar most obstetricians and midwives should support you in trying to deliver your baby via vaginally.
Are there any other benefits of VBAC?
One increasingly apparent benefit of a VBAC delivery is that when your baby is delivered through the birth canal his skin and intestines are naturally colonized with your friendly bacteria. Babies born by caesarean section have significantly different gut flora seven years after birth. This lack of natural colonization of vitally important; lack of friendly bacteria has been implicated in the increased levels of coeliac disease and diabetes and other auto-immune illnesses in children born by caesarean.
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