If you’re a mum who has experienced a caesarean section, you may have spotted the term ‘VBAC’ – but what is it?
We’ll be taking a look at what a VBAC is, who to ask about having one, and some real life VBAC stories to help anyone who is keen to try and have their very own VBAC! We hope that this helps.
What is a VBAC?
‘VBAC’ stands for Vaginal Birth After Caesarean. Sometimes, you may see a number before the C, if a mum has had more than one caesarean, but this isn’t as common.
A successful VBAC, according to The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has less chance of complications, faster recovery, and less risk of inital breathing problems for your baby when compared to a repeat caesarean – read more on this here. However, it’s important to take any risks posed by your individual medical situation into account too!
Who can have a VBAC?
After a previous c-section, you’ll usually be offered an elective/planned c-section the next time you have a baby. However, you may also be given the option of a VBAC. There are many medical circumstances that may impact whether it is safe for you to choose a VBAC or not. In this case, we strongly advise that you sit and talk with your consultant about whether it is safe for you to have one, and take their advice into consideration.
The NHS says that two out of three (60-70%) mums who choose a VBAC successfully give birth vaginally, which are pretty good odds! If you had a vaginal birth before your previous c-section, these odds increase to 90%! Read more here. The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists also has a very useful information resource about the benefits, risks and other factors here.
We asked the mummies in our community to share their VBAC stories with us…
My vbac went really smooth, I was induced with the balloon and admitted at 1cm, 2 hours later I was 6cm and went up to the labour ward. I was stuck at 8cm for 8 hours, on the 8th hour they broke my waters and within half an hour and 8 minutes worth of pushing my little girl was born!
My VBAC was my best birth out my 3 boys! 😍 If every birth could be like it I would do it 10 times over! 🤣 I was in control from start to finish with gas and air. I enjoyed it that much I offered the midwife my bank card and pin number so I could pay her for being so amazing! 🤣😂
I’m on my 5th vba2c journey, each one very different experience. My 1st was 11 yrs ago, I was told it was the impossible and had everyone against me and it was 1 consultant who could see and believe there was the possibility it was achievable and to her I will be forever grateful!
The rest of that story is pretty average – I laboured naturally at 39 weeks, had waters broke to help progress, gave birth and was home that afternoon, surreal as it was as I’d had to stay in hospital a week after my 2 c sections!
My vbac was odd! I went in for reduced movements and leaking but told it wasn’t my waters, babies sleepy, I was fine and that she would give me a seep and send me home. She did the sweep and as soon as her fingers came out it was followed by a huge gush! 😂 She was like yeah you’re not going home, contractions started immediately, had and air and the diamorphine injection. I couldn’t push hard enough to get him out so had to be cut and suction cup. He came out fine but had to stay an extra night as apparently i had a fever so administered antibiotics which would have gone to baby as well. Labour to birth was about 8 hours!
Wow, ladies – thank you so much for sharing your VBAC stories!
We hope that they’re helpful to anyone keen to choose this as a birth option. Just remember – your midwife and consultant will advise you based on your medical background and their expertise!
Good luck to you all, love from Katie & Team BBY. Xx