VBAC: Is VBAC required?

I'm due to have my second child in three weeks. My first was delivered by cesarean, due to breech position. The surgery went very well and my recovery was very fast and easy. I am frightened to have a VBAC. I'd prefer to have a repeat cesarean, but I feel silly about requesting the surgery when there is no medical reason for it. Is VBAC required?


Peg Plumbo CNM

Peg Plumbo has been a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) since 1976. She has assisted at over 1,000 births and currently teaches in the... Read more

It is very normal for you to have major fears and apprehensions. When you gave birth previously, the control was taken entirely out of your hands. Now it has been returned to you and you are faced with some very big decisions.

Though it is doubtful that a physician would require that you have a VBAC, they would/should strongly recommend it. Vaginal delivery is safer for the baby and for the mother.

Uterine rupture is a very uncommon event. In one major study of 8000 women, this complication occurred in 1.5 percent of VBAC births compared to 0.5 percent for vaginal delivery. About two-thirds of all women who plan a VBAC can expect to give birth vaginally. Most are very happy that they did.

I would encourage you to express your fears to your obstetrician. Even if you decide to opt for a cesarean, consider a trial of labor. This helps the baby accommodate to the outside world by squeezing the fluids out of his lungs and also benefits the contractility of the uterus.

Everything will work out for the best if you have faith in your body and benefit from the supportive skilled care of your doctor.

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