Many women have successful vaginal births after a previous cesarean birth. Sutter’s team of experienced obstetricians, labor and delivery nurses, certified nurse-midwives, anesthesiologists and neonatal specialists offer expert care during high-risk childbirth, working as a coordinated team to keep you and your baby healthy.
A cesarean birth, C-section, is an abdominal operation performed to deliver a baby when a vaginal delivery is not possible or safe. During a cesarean, you’ll be given anesthesia (usually a spinal or epidural), and your doctor will make an incision in your abdomen and uterus to deliver the baby.
Your doctor may recommend a scheduled cesarean if you develop pregnancy complications that could put you or the baby at risk. Women who’ve had previous cesareans may also plan to have another.
During labor, a variety of situations can occur that may require an unplanned cesarean, including:
- Abnormal positioning of the baby.
- Umbilical cord problems.
- Placenta problems.
- Decreased oxygen to the baby.
- High blood pressure, infection or other health problem.
When needed, our neonatal specialists attend high-risk deliveries and provide care to newborns immediately after birth.
Vaginal Birth After Cesarean
If you had a previous cesarean, you may still be able to have a vaginal birth. Vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC), also known as trial of labor after cesarean, is considered safe for many women. According to recent research, up to 80 percent of women who are good candidates for VBAC have successful vaginal births.
VBAC may be right for you if you’ve had one previous C-section with a horizontal incision. Uterine rupture is the potential risk factor. During a VBAC, you’ll be closely monitored during labor. If you or your baby go into distress, you may still need a C-section.
Many of our obstetricians specialize in VBAC and can help guide you through this type of birth.