I wanted to take the time to talk about Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC). Around 1 in 4 women in the UK will give birth via Caesarean Section - whether this is planned or unplanned.
As time goes by you may be considering having another baby and wondering if you will have to have another Caesarean - maybe you do want one and that is absolutely fine - however you do have other options. It is important to weigh are the benefits and risks...
(Think B R A I N)
Now onto the important stats:
If you are planning a VBAC then the risk of uterine scar rupture (when the wall of the uterus opens; this is seen as a major and life threatening emergency for mother and baby) is 1:200 (0.5%) - so, very rare.
Up to 75% chance of a successful VBAC (if labouring spontaneously, slightly less if induced)
Increased chance of needing an instrumental birth
Reduced chance of baby having short term breathing problems if born vaginally compared with Planned Caesarean
There is no data reporting on long-term maternal or infant outcomes of planned VBAC v Planned Caesarean. There is considerable data to show that repeated Planned Caesarean is associated with an increased risk of placenta praevia, placenta accreta and surgical complications at the time of subsequent pregnancy and birth, such as hysterectomy (RCOG 2015)
Planned Caesarean may give you a sense of control; when the birth will be, who will be there etc.
It is also worth considering recovery after surgery. Full recovery is 6 weeks (What even is full recovery?... but this is what we go by). No heavy lifting, driving or exercise in these weeks whilst you allow your body to recover and heal.
It really is important to know all the stats and then you can make an informed choice that is right for you. You can discuss your options with your Midwife or Obstetrician and they should guide and support you with a personalised plan.
Thanks for reading! As always I'd love to hear your birth story or any other themes you would like me to cover on this blog/instagram. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org