Vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC)

What is vaginal birth after Caesarean?

Vaginal birth after Caesarean (VBAC) is when a woman has had a previous birth via Caesarean section (C-section) and in a subsequent pregnancy has a vaginal delivery. Between two thirds and three quarters of women who attempt VBAC will be successful. Benefits include:

  • Reduced blood loss
  • Less injury and risk of infection
  • No complications related to surgery
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • More rapid recovery
  • Less pain
  • Less breathing problems after birth for the newborn

Even after 2 or more C-sections a VBAC can be attempted, although the risk of complications is higher.

What are the risks of VBAC?

A C-section leaves a scar on the uterus that is weak and can tear during labour. This is called a uterine rupture. The chance of this happening is about one in every 200 women who have a trial of labour. If this happens, an emergency C-section is required. You may also need a blood transfusion. You and your baby will be carefully monitored throughout labour to watch for any signs of rupture. VBAC should not be attempted at home.