5 Things I Know About VBACs | Northwest PA Doulas

Vaginal Birth After Cesarean 



You've just found out you're pregnant again. You're starting your research on your options. Its a fact that in our area, around 33% of moms give birth to their babies via cesarean birth. So what does that mean for you for this birth experience? 

1.) There are options and providers in our area. 

It is true that as of now, Meadville Medical Center has a VBAC ban but there are other hospitals in our area that allow them. (St. Vincent, UPMC Hamot, UPMC Horizon and UPMC Seneca to name a few.) You can choose between skilled and experienced OBGYN's or hospital based Midwives. There are a few home birth midwives in our area that provide care to VBAC moms as well. Contact us for more info on home birth midwives.

2.) There are benefits to choosing a VBAC. 

Less recovery time, lowered risk of infection for mom, less chance of blood loss and no abdominal surgery are all benefits to not having a cesarean birth. You also get the benefits of having a vaginal birth. Benefits of vaginal birth include a shorter hospital stay, early contact with mom and baby, earlier breastfeeding initiation, good bacteria being transferred to the baby from the birth canal and squeezing of fluid from baby's lungs as they are pushed through the birth canal. 

3.) There are risks to choosing a VBAC. 

The number one concern with trial of labor after cesarean (TOLAC) is the risk of uterine rupture or cesarean scar rupture. It was shown that theres a 0.2 to 1% risk of uterine rupture in moms who are choosing VBAC. While uncommon, its important to consider this risk. 

4.) You can have a VBAC with or without pain meds. 

If you decide to do TOLAC, its possible to have whatever type of labor you desire. You can be induced, even with Pitocin. Medication free, epidural, IV pain meds... whatever you choose, there are options! 

5.) Even if you've had multiple cesareans, ACOG says there's still options.  

You're pregnant with your third baby and wondering if its possible to have a VBAC. ACOG's expert opinion is "sometimes". Your health and determining if you have risk factors putting you at higher risk for complications come into play in your OB's decision. 

For more questions and information, ask your Childbirth Educator or Birth Doula here at Northwest PA Doulas. We support mothers and families during all births, including VBACS and scheduled cesarean births!