Birth after a Previous Caesarean
If you have had one caesarean birth, you may be considering your options for future births. You can choose to have a vaginal birth or a caesarean birth, either choice is safe with different risks and benefits.
In considering your choices you will be invited to attend a Midwife led clinic or Consultant Antenatal Clinic where you will be asked about your medical history and about your previous pregnancies. They will want to know:
- the reason you had the caesarean birth and what happened – was it an emergency or planned (elective)?
- the type of cut that was made in your uterus (womb) - how you felt about your previous birth. Do you have any concerns?
- whether your current pregnancy has been straightforward or if there have been any problems or complications?
You will then be able to consider your chance of a successful vaginal birth, your personal wishes and future fertility plans when making a decision about vaginal birth or caesarean birth. If the caesarean section was performed in a different unit your medical notes may be requested so that this information can be used during the discussion.
Vaginal Birth after Caesarean (VBAC) is the term used when a woman gives birth vaginally, having had a caesarean birth in the past. Vaginal birth includes birth assisted by forceps or ventouse.
An elective caesarean is a planned caesarean. The date is usually planned in advance, the caesarean birth usually happens in the seven days before your due date, unless there is a reason (related to you or your baby) why your baby needs to be born earlier.