Can I have a vaginal birth after caesarean?

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Are you planning for a vaginal birth after c-section? Find out if you are a suitable candidate, and learn more about the risks and benefits of VBAC here.

vaginal birth after caesarean, birth, labour, deliveryAn obstetrician and gynaecologist with more than 13 years of experience, Dr. Chee Jing Jye is often asked this question by expectant mothers. Her current practice at The Obstetrics & Gynaecology Centre includes all areas of general obstetrics and gynaecology. She sub-specialises in Maternal Fetal Medicine with expertise in areas such as First Trimester Screening for Down Syndrome and high-risk pregnancy.

One mother in particular, AZ, went to see Dr. Chee recently with high hopes of being able to have a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC).

AZ is four months pregnant with her second child, just 18 months after having an emergency C-section with her first born daughter. AZ longs for the experience of holding her baby in her arms immediately after delivery. This was something she felt she had missed out on after giving birth to her daughter, having been under general anaesthesia for her C-section.

“It really depends…”

Generally, there are a few factors to consider before deciding to go for a vaginal delivery after caesarean birth. VBAC may not be suitable for women who had to go through a caesarean birth due to a contracted pelvis. There may be a risk of uterine rupture if they chose to give birth vaginally. Uterine rupture can lead to life-threatening complications for both mother and baby, and may result in the need for surgical removal of the womb (hysterectomy).

AZ was asked whether she had any complications with her first C-section. The fact that it was an emergency surgery meant that there were some issues with the birth of her daughter. Women who have had a straightforward procedure and are not experiencing any complications in their current pregnancy are more suitable for a VBAC.

Dr. Chee examined AZ’’s scar to see what type of incision had been made. She would also need to have a look at the uterus to determine how it had been cut. If the uterus had a vertical incision, there would be a higher risk of uterine rupture.

Is a vaginal birth after Caesarean the best way to go for AZ? More details on page 2…

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