I had an emergency caesarean section with my previous pregnancy two years ago and am now expecting my second child. Will it be possible to have a natural delivery after a caesarean section and how can I avoid having another one?
Yes, it is possible to have a normal vaginal birth after a caesarean section (VBAC), especially if there are no complications involved. You should see your obstetrician early to discuss details of your previous and current pregnancy, reasons behind the caesarean section, the operation itself and your desired family size so as to decide jointly about your suitability for a VBAC.
A successful VBAC sets your path for future natural deliveries, allows you to recover faster while avoiding surgical/anaesthesia risks, and reduces the likelihood of breathing problems in your newborn. There are some risks involved in a VBAC (including a small possibility of caesarean scar rupture), but this should be balanced against the overall risks of having another caesarean section.
Staying active and going into labour on your own increases your chances of a successful VBAC – so keeping a healthy lifestyle throughout your pregnancy with appropriate physical activity will help. You can further maximise your chances by labouring in a hospital with good obstetric, anaesthetic, neonatal and midwifery support where frequent surveillance of both you and your baby’s well-being can be performed and your labour progress monitored.
Question answered by:
Dr Ng Kai Lyn
NUH Women’s Centre