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VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean Section)



“The more pregnancy is lived like an illness the more it becomes in itself a cause of illness.” - Dr. Michel Odent, Birth Reborn

A cesarean section, or c-section, will deliver a baby that might not otherwise have survived or might have survived with severely compromised health. However, using this procedure as a routine method for birthing babies is neither safe nor recommended.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) cesarean rates above 10% - 15% represent a danger to women and babies because of risks of life threatening complications (reactions to anesthesia, infection, hemorrhage, breathing difficulties for newborns, etc.).

Women who have had cesarean sections seem to be at increased risk for ectopic pregnancy (a fertilized egg has implanted outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes), placenta abruptio (the placenta separates from the uterine wall causing hemorrhaging) and placenta previa (a very low-lying placenta that puts the mother at risk for severe bleeding during labor and usually requires a cesarean section in future pregnancies).

You are more likely to have a safe and normal birth and avoid having cesarean section if you take the time to ask the right questions and become informed about your birth choices and patient rights.

Before labor, make certain that your caregiver, doctor, midwife or doula is enthusiastic about VBAC. Strong support is the number one aid to a better outcome for a normal vaginal birth. If you are delivering in a hospital, make sure they support VBAC. If your baby is breech, make sure you are offered the option to turn the baby (options include breech tilt, acupuncture, chiropractic care, external cephalic version).

During labor, if you are in a hospital, make sure you ask your doctor the following questions:

  • • Are these medical interventions medically necessary at this time?

  • • Is this an emergency, or do we have time to talk?

  • • What are the benefits of performing the cesarean surgery now?

  • • What are the risks to me and my baby if performing cesarean surgery?

  • • What are my other options?

  • • What would happen if we waited an hour or two before making that decision?

  • • Would I be putting myself or my baby at risk if I decide not to have this surgery?


La Shel and Jamin have cared for many VBAC women in hospital, birth center and home birth settings. They believe that birth, even if you've had a previous cesarean section, isn't a medical emergency but simply a natural process. During labor, they'll recommend good nutrition, hydration and a variety of positions to help the baby find the perfect position to slowly come down. They also believe that women who have had a previous c-section will increase their chances of a normal vaginal birth if they have a natural, drug- free labor. This has been proven repeatedly in many different studies.