VBAC, or vaginal birth after cesarean, is a hot topic among women who’ve given birth via C-section in the previous pregnancy. For some women, having a vaginal delivery is a rite of passage and many don’t feel they really experienced all there is to experience in motherhood without a vaginal delivery, but not all women will be able to have children vaginally. My first pregnancy ended in an early C-section due to fetal size and low levels of amniotic fluid. My second pregnancy was full-term, but the fetus was close to 11 pounds, so I had another C-section. My third pregnancy was the one I was sure would be my VBAC, but having twins meant increased risks and that meant no VBAC for me. 

Baby Feet

What Does the Doctor Take Into Consideration?
If you’ve made it known to your obstetrician or health care provider that you want to try a VBAC delivery, they will watch your pregnancy closely before suggesting the delivery type when the time comes. Your overall health, blood pressure, underlying medical conditions and size of the fetus will all be taken into consideration. Depending on the reason for the first C-section, the doctor may tell you point blank that a VBAC is not an option. Each case is taken individually, so just because your friend was able to experience a vaginally delivery after C-section does not mean you’ll have the same experience. 

How Can You Make the C-section More Intimate?
One of the things I missed having three C-sections was the intimacy associated with a vaginal delivery. There is something about feeling the uterus contract and pushing baby out the way deliveries have gone for thousands of years that pulls a woman to a vaginal delivery. After a C-section, the infant is often rushed away for diagnostics, unlike vaginal deliveries where baby is often held by mom immediately after birth. Ask your obstetrician if you can hold baby, even for a minute or two, after delivery to connect the way others mothers do after a vaginal delivery. 

VBAC is an option for some women and not an option for others. Talk with your doctor about your wishes for a vaginal delivery, but be prepared to have another C-section. Your life and the life of your unborn child are much more important than fulfilling a need to vaginally deliver. 

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