Vaginal Birth After Caesarean (VBAC)

Updated on August 14, 2010
C.D. asks from Pembroke, KY
17 answers

I have a question concerning any women who have had vaginal births after a c-section. My first two kids were vaginal births without drugs. My second baby actually came in four hours and my husband had to deliver her all by himself. There were no complications. The Lord was sure looking after us that night :O) Anyways with my third baby I was rushed into emergency surgery because he was breech. I was freaked out and wasn't given an option to try and deliver the baby naturally. Well everything went fine, but I was in tons of pain afterwards and would not like to go through that again. I used the Bradley Method with my first two kids and in the book they say the movement for VBAC is growing. I found out two weeks ago that I am pregnant again. I used midwifes with all my pregnancies, but am afraid if I go back to the same womens clinic that they will tell me I have to have a c-section this time since I had one last time. So my question is has any women had a successful vaginal birth after a caesarean ? Also do any women know of midwifes or doctors that live around Western Kentucky or Nashville, TN area that let women have vaginal births after a c-section ?

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So What Happened?

Thank you ladies for all your answers. First of all I called the hospital where I usually have by babies and asked if they allow VBAC's and they said they do. So that eased my mind a bit. Then at my first appointment before I even had a chance to ask my midwife about a VBAC she said, " you know you can have a natural birth this time ? I just did a VBAC two days ago and all went well." I was so excited, so all is going good.

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answers from Nashville on

I had ti have 2 c/s. The first was an energecy c/s and the second scheduled due to the circumstances of the first (mt dr felt a VBAC was too risky for both me and my son). However, he told me that if my first had been due to a breech baby he would have had no problems letting me try for a VBAC. He's out of Nashville and is wondeful - works with you and you get to make the decisions unless he feels lives are at risk as with my second delivery. If you're intereste his name is Dr. Growdon and he's out of Baptist. Vandy has an excellent group of mid-wives though and it would definitly be worth looking into.




answers from Philadelphia on

Most birthing centers will not see you after a c section. You can still have a vbac as long as you don't have any complications. I would not see any dr who told you to have a c section unless it was necessary.

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answers from Memphis on

C., you are an **excellent** candidate for a VBAC -- you've had two vaginal births already, and your C-section was for a condition not likely to be repeated. [In fact, you would have been an excellent candidate for a breech birth, provided the baby was in a good breech position; however, it's likely that your midwives and doctor were unskilled in attending breech birth, so didn't feel comfortable in letting you attempt it.]

In addition to the suggestion to look into home-birth (if you and your husband are willing), there are several midwives in the Nashville area, and you can always look at for some specific recommendations and/or information about doctors and midwives in your area. [I'm not from Nashville, but have some friends who live there.] The Birth Survey is a nationwide website for women who gave birth within the past 3 years to give their experiences, so that other women can know what sort of care provider they'll really be getting.

The best way to know if these particular midwives will attend VBACs is to ask them. And if they say no, look for someone who will. Different states have different laws governing midwives, and different hospitals may have different criteria for accepting VBAC candidates. However, the most recent ACOG [OB group] recommendations concerning VBAC is that women should be allowed to have them, if they want to.

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answers from Nashville on

C., would you be open to a (planned) home birth? There are several home birth midwives (mostly certified professional midwives) in the greater Nashville area. I know at least a few of them have experience with VBACs. My good friend had a VBAC, at home, in Nashville just about two years ago. It sounds like you would be a great candidate. I'm sure that there are hospital based midwives who support VBACs, but frequently hospital protocol can be a problem. You might want to check with the Vanderbilt Midwife Group to see what their policy on VBACs is and what their history with VBACs is. Please send me a message if you'd like my friend's contact information. She helped me find a midwife for my home birth and I was so pleased with the quality of care provided by my certified professional midwife and the certified nurse midwife who works with her.

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answers from Raleigh on

I had my first three children naturally then my fourth was an emergency c-section. When I found out I was pregnant with my fifth, I knew I wanted to try a VBAC since the recovery from natural delivery was so much easier than from a c-section and I wanted to be available for my other kids sooner. I did a lot of research and talked to many doctors at my obgyn office and determined I was a good candidate for a VBAC. I was told that if you have had natural deliveries than you have a higher success rate than if you had only had a c-section. Thankfully, about a year ago, I successfully delivered my fifth via VBAC! My doctors were supportive through the pregnancy and were monitoring me closely (and ready for an emergency c-section if necessary) on the delivery day. I am not from your area so I do not know which doctors are available to support you through a VBAC, but hopefully you can find someone!

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answers from Nashville on

So pleased to see what great responses you're getting from this question! I am one of many women who have had a vbac. And, yes, the movement away from unnecessary surgical birth is growing, slowly but surely. My vbac was with the vanderbilt midwives in Nashville. You can certainly go the Nashville Birth Network's yahoo group and ask for recommendations - I'm sure many women would chime in. Also, if you're in range, consider coming to an ICAN meeting. We're full of opinions on that topic, too! Also the birth survey website is handy for reviews of any recommendations you may get. You do have options!
ICAN of Nashville, coleader
Bradley Method Instructor

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answers from Nashville on

hi, i had my first and second vag. and then thirteen years later had my 3 by c- section.( butt first.) we new ahead of time so the doc waited till my water broke and then sent me over to the hospital and they got me ready and then she came over. then with number 4 i had her vag. from start of contractions to the time on the brith cert. it was 2 hr. 22 min. didn't have a bit of trouble. it will depend on the way they opened you uterus. up and down or across. your dr. should be able to tell you from the start if they will let you try. butt first is not always an option. good luck and god bless. R.

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answers from Raleigh on

Hi C., congratulations on your new pregnancy! I think that you definately can plan for a vbac, but because you had a c-section, you will need to have this baby in the hospital so that in case there is a complication they can handle it immediately.

I had a Vbac for my second child in the hospital, but used a Doula. She was wonderful!

Good luck with whatever you decide!



answers from Louisville on

since the only reason you had a c sec was b/c baby was breech it shouldnt be an issue. most of the time the doctors dont like doing them if you are high risk but since the little one was just trying to show off his little hind end first it shouldnt be a problem :P Dont be scared to talk to your doctor about it and remember you can always keep looking for a doctor who will support you on this



answers from Jacksonville on

It is definitely possible, as I had a vba2c (after 2 c-sections). You may have to try different providers, but remember...a c-section is a surgery, and they cannot do surgery without your consent. Please check out this website and get on their mailing list:



answers from Nashville on

My cousin had a VBAC with her second, and she saw the Vanderbilt Nurse Midwives, so I know they are open to that.



answers from Charlotte on

My first child was born by C-section and I had elected to have a C-section with my second. My daughter had other plans. I went into labor with her 4 days before my scheduled C and she came so fast that I was fully dialated before the doctor arrived to perform the surgery so I opted for VBAC at that point rather than attempt a C-section. My VBAC happened with no major complications. My doctors had told me from the beginning of my second pregnancy that they would support me if I had wanted to do a VBAC and I think most doctors are leaning this way if you are a good candidate. I met a woman who had a C-Section for both her pregnancies and they told her with her second C-Section that the area of her uterus around her incision from her first C was thin and she would probably had ruptured had she attempted a VBAC. I believe there is a test they can perform to dermine the likelyhood of rupture so you may want to ask your doctor about that.



answers from Nashville on

I've read that water birth is most successful for a VBAC. Do your research, ask questions, and take charge of your own health care.



answers from Charlotte on

Ok, where do I start? Remember this: your baby, your body, your birth - nature's choice, NOT the doctors choice. If it's been at least two years since your section then research supports safety with VBAC. What you want to find is a doctor that supports the idea that the woman's body will lead the way, not the doctor. Since you have had two previous successful vag births your body has plenty of muscle memory. And since your section was due to breech and not failure to progress, you are a great candidate for vbac. When it comes time to labor, I bet your body goes into labor just fine and sails into delivery. I would call around your area to find out which hospitals support vbacs and then find out which ob's deliver at those hospitals. That may narrow down the search. God bless and good luck to you, from a very happy mother of two - my second via VBAC and a rewarding, beautiful, fantastic delivery.



answers from Eugene on

Hi C.- This question has also been on my mind as my husband and I are trying for a second baby. Our daughter was delivered c-section because she was breech and because my amniotic fluid was extremely low. When I discussed with my OB about having a VBAC when we had our next child, it was pretty much NO. Ugh. I'll switch doctors if she won't consider a VBAC.

However, one important thing to be aware of is that a new study came out about VBAC and there were numerous articles last week in the paper. The great news is that these studies have now shown that the risks of a VBAC are VERY low compared to having a C-section. The American Academy of Obstetrics (or something like that) has now reversed their stance on VBAC and now recommend them over a 2nd c-section!

When we conceive, I plan on printing out the articles I read and perhaps even the study and taking it to my OB. Of course, if there are complications similar to my first pregnancy than I will happily consent to a c-section.

Anyway- google the article and bring it to your OB. Good luck!


answers from Clarksville on

Hi C.,

I've had 4 natural deliveries with my last two being home births with a midwife. I know you're looking for info from women that have VBAC'd but I wanted to share with you the following resources.

You may want to check out the Nashville Birth Network. Their site is You can even check out the yahoo group which is a public forum and you could post your info there. We just moved from Fort Campbell, KY (1 hour from Nashville) and I do know you have many options. I'm certain someone on the board can assist you in finding what you're looking for. Mickey Jones at Nine Months and Beyond; may be a great resource, as well.

There also is ICAN of Nashville (International Cesarean Awareness Network)

Feel free to email me offline, if you'd like more information. I also know of a Fort Campbell/Clarksville Area Homebirth group that you might find helpful.

It's important to research all you can on VBAC. We hear horror stories all the time surrounding birth but most of the time those births are managed births. Yes, things happen during birth that are unexpected but most VBACs are uncomplicated. I know many women that have had successful VBACs and they almost always choose NO INTERVENTIONS because they increase the risk of a repeat c-section.

Congrats on your pregnancy!



answers from Charleston on

You sound like a great candidate for a VBAC! I will be having a VBAC at home in February with a midwife. If I were you I'd look around for a midwife in your area that will do a homebirth. I'm sure you'd be much happier being able to be in control of your birth experience versus being controlled at the hospital. Also a breech baby is no reason in and of itself to have a c-section. You should have been able to deliver that baby vaginally.

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