Labor and delivery

What are the potential risks and benefits of a VBAC?

What is a VBAC?

A VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean section) is a childbirth option for women who have had a prior Cesarean section, allowing them to deliver their future babies vaginally rather than via a repeat Cesarean.

Potential Benefits

A successful VBAC can offer a number of potential benefits, including:

  • Faster recovery. Recovering from a vaginal birth is typically faster and less painful than from a major abdominal surgery like a Cesarean section.
  • Lower risk for future pregnancies. There is a decreased risk of complications for future pregnancies and deliveries with a VBAC.
  • Avoiding major abdominal surgery. Vaginal delivery eliminates the need for major abdominal surgery and the associated risks such as infection, blood loss and anesthesia complications.

Potential Risks

Despite the potential benefits, there are also potential risks with VBAC, such as:

  • Risk of uterine rupture. Though rare, it can occur, especially if the prior Cesarean section was performed due to fetal distress. The risk may also increase with multiple VBACs. If a rupture occurs, an emergency Cesarean section may be necessary.
  • Increased risk of bleeding after delivery. Postpartum bleeding may be higher than with repeat Cesareans.
  • Increased risk of infection. The risk of infection is greater with VBAC than with repeat Cesarean delivery.


It is important for pregnant women to evaluate both the potential risks and benefits before making a decision about a VBAC. It is essential to discuss with your doctor all the risks and benefits of your particular situation, as well as any potential alternative options.

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