Labor and Delivery

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about labor and delivery.

What factors might increase or decrease a woman’s ability to have a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?

Dr. Stephen Guy discusses which factors might increase or decrease a woman’s ability to have a successful VBAC. Click play to watch the video or read the transcript.

What factors might increase or decrease a woman’s ability to have a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC)?

The factors that might increase the success of VBAC would be a mom who's already had a Vaginal delivery. Many moms might have a vaginal delivery and for whatever reason have a c-section on their second or third baby. If they've already had a successful vaginal delivery, their success for VBAC is going to be greater than someone who's never had a vaginal delivery. If there's a non-repeating indication, again, that if the first baby was breech, now this baby is head down, she's probably a good candidate for a VBAC.

It's also there are some variables that are related to a patient's age. The older we are, the less likely success. If you actually had a previous labor where you stopped dilating, or your baby stopped descending, then that decreases the chance of success. Maternal weight could have an indicator too that might decrease. The heavier you are, the more difficult it might be to have a successful VBAC.

   

A variety of factors can affect whether a woman is more or less likely to have a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

Some of the factors, according to the ACOG and Premier Health Specialists’ (PHS) physicians, include:

  • Age of the mother – Younger mothers are at less risk of complications during a VBAC
  • Conditions of previous labor – A woman who had a prior labor that stopped dilating or had a baby stop descending has a decreased chance of a successful VBAC.
  • Maternal weight – The more a mother weighs, the more difficult a VBAC can be to complete.
  • A normal size baby – This will increase the likelihood of a successful VBAC, whereas a large baby might require a C-section.
  • A baby that is already head down – Having a baby facing the correct way will create less risk of VBAC complications.

For more information about who makes a good candidate for VBAC, talk to your doctor.

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Source: Judith Burichin, MD, Hilltop Obstetrics and Gynecology; Juan Reina, MD, Hilltop Obstetrics and Gynecology; Stephen Guy, MD, Womens Health Specialist and Midwives of Dayton