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Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC) - What Affects VBAC Success

Pregnancy, labor, and delivery are different for every woman and difficult to predict. Even if your first pregnancy required a cesarean, the next one may not. The likelihood of a successful vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) is influenced by many things. Usually a combination of things affects how well or poorly a trial of labor goes.

Your chances of a successful VBAC are best when:1

  • Your previous cesarean was not done for stalled labor.
  • You do not have the same condition that led to a previous cesarean (such as a breech, or feet-down, fetus).
  • You have had a vaginal delivery or a successful VBAC before.
  • Your labor starts on its own and your cervix dilates well.
  • You are younger than 35.2

Your chances of a successful VBAC are lower when:2

  • Your previous cesarean was because of difficult labor, which is called dystocia. This is especially true if you were fully dilated when you had a cesarean section for dystocia.
  • You are obese.
  • You are older than 35. 2
  • Your fetus is very large [estimated as bigger than 9 lb (4082 g)].
  • You are beyond 40 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your last pregnancy was less than 18 months ago.

VBAC can be considered for pregnancies with twins.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 29, 2013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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