Advantages of a VBAC
By Kidspot Team |
Advantages of a VBAC

There are a number of benefits associated with having your subsequent baby vaginally rather than having a repeat Caesarean. From a medical point of view, research reflects that the average prevalence of complications for women having a Caesarean birth, are significantly higher (up to 28%) than for women who have a vaginal birth (about 1.6 to 3%) - the main complication usually being an infection of some sort after the birth.

Besides the lower risk for complications there are other benefits that women have expressed after having their VBAC.

These include:
 

Decreased pain, increased mobility and faster recovery


A vaginal birth usually means being up and about within hours with minimal need for strong pain relief and being able to return to normal activities quicker, making parenting a little easier.

A Caesarean is a major operation, needing days to weeks of recovery, requiring fairly consistent pain medication for longer, needing more rest, restricting activities and impeding the care the woman is able to give her new baby (at least in the early days). For many women having the opportunity for a more rapid recovery is a major bonus, especially if they have other small children.
 

Experiencing a vaginal birth


For some women being able to experience a vaginal birth is important. The ability to achieve this may be linked with her body image and the perception she has of herself as a woman, capable of performing a task her body was created for. The previous Caesarean may have undermined her confidence in her body, and planning a VBAC could play a role as part of the challenge she sets herself for a subsequent birth.

Be aware that the vaginal birth may not eventuate and think about how you can psychologically prepare for this.
 

Bonding and feeding


Having a vaginal birth could increase the likelihood of the woman spending the early time with her new baby and partner after the birth. Being able to share the experience and breastfeed early is important. Depending on the hospital policy, a repeated Caesarean will often mean having the baby (and the partner) escorted away to the postnatal ward, while the woman is stitched and cared for in the recovery room for an hour or more. You may wish to negotiate this with your caregiver if the caesarean is repeated.
 

Lower cost


This is unlikely to affect the decision you make (unless you are paying up front for Private care), but it may be of interest to know that a Caesarean birth costs the health system more than twice as much as a vaginal birth.
 

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