What is a VBAC?
The abbreviation stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. While not all women are good candidates for a trial of labor after a cesarean, many are. The World Health Organization says that a cesarean rate of 10-15% is acceptable while the US has a national cesarean section rate of 32.7% (CDC, 2013). With these numbers, everyone in the birth community needs to be considering VBAC.
1. Faster Recovery
Cesaresan sections are major abdominal surgery and have a much longer recovery than a vaginal delivery. Along with other major surgeries, your chances are higher for complications including infection, heavy blood loss and blood clots in the lungs and legs. Full recovery from a cesarean section is from 4-6 weeks while full recovery from a vaginal delivery is between 1-2 weeks.
2. Ability to Bond with Baby Sooner
Many times in uncomplicated vaginal deliveries babies are able to go straight from the womb to their mother’s chest. This is an incredible moment for moms to feel like an active participant of their birth and have the instant gratification of holding their baby. Many times in cesarean sections the baby will be taken to the nursery only moments after their mom getting to see them.
3. Higher Success Rates with Breastfeeding
Because of the ability to bond with your baby sooner and the fact that you lose less blood on average with a vaginal delivery the odds are higher that you will have a successful breastfeeding relationship with your baby.
4. Less Risk of Breathing Difficulties for Baby
As babies come down the birth canal they receive what is called the hymenal squeeze that forces the remaining fluid out of their lungs and prepping them to take their first breath of air. Babies born via cesarean do not receive this squeeze and may need suctioning in order to get the remainder of the fluid out.
5. Reduced Risk of Complications for Future Pregnancies
With each cesarean section surgery a woman’s chance of major complications, such as needing a hysterectomy, increases dramatically. A woman’s body is built to have a baby vaginally and can endure more pregnancies and deliveries without surgical intervention.
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