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Choosing Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section (VBAC) at Southcoast Health

Many women who had a cesarean section (C-section) in a previous birth wish to have a vaginal birth for their next delivery. This is called a vaginal birth after C-section, or VBAC.

At Southcoast Health, we want expectant mothers to have a positive childbirth experience. Our three hospitals across southeastern Massachusetts provide a family-centered, compassionate approach to maternity services. We offer a variety of labor and delivery options, including VBAC, in New Bedford, MA.

Talk to your provider at Southcoast Health and discuss what you want your childbirth to look like. If you choose to have a VBAC, we will help you understand what to expect. This is the first time in two decades we have offered this procedure. Trust your caring, experienced delivery team to help make the most of this special time in your life.

Understanding VBAC Benefits & Risks

The safety of you and your baby during labor and delivery is our top priority. If you would like to have a VBAC, talk to your Southcoast Health OB/GYN provider or midwife ahead of time. He or she can explain the risks and benefits of a VBAC and whether it’s an option for your childbirth. Many women who have had a C-section are still candidates for a vaginal delivery. Talk to your provider to determine if VBAC is an option for you.

Vaginal births have shorter recovery periods than C-sections and lessen your risk of complications during future deliveries. VBAC benefits also include a lower risk of infection and less blood loss.

Your OB/GYN may not recommend a VBAC if:

  • You have high vertical scars, meaning the cesarean incision was made vertically in the abdomen.
  • You want to induce labor.
  • The baby is large or breech.
  • You have had a previous uterine rupture.

The most serious risk of VBAC is a uterine rupture, which is when the scar from your previous C-section opens. It requires emergency surgery. Talk to your Southcoast Health OB/GYN about the risk of a uterine rupture.

How to Prepare for a VBAC

Planning for a VBAC at Southcoast Health includes many of the same steps as for preparing for a vaginal delivery. You can still choose to have an epidural. Expect to feel tired and sore after delivery, though recovery time for a vaginal birth is shorter than with a C-section. Prepare for the possibility that you may need another C-section if the vaginal birth is unsuccessful.

Your delivery team wants to make sure you are well taken care of at every stage of your pregnancy. Attend one of our childbirth classes or schedule a tour at one of our hospitals to learn more about having a baby at a Southcoast Health hospital.

Southcoast Health provides successful vaginal births after C-sections in New Bedford, MA.