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Counties Manukau Health Birthing and Assessment (B & A)

Public Service, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Maternity, Maternity/Birthing Facilities

Vaginal Birth after Caesarean

Vaginal birth after caesarean or VBAC is when one of your previous babies was born by caesarean but with this baby you plan a normal vaginal birth. Many women go on to have a normal birth.

In your pregnancy one of our specialists will look at why you had the caesarean and advise you if it is a good idea to have a vaginal birth. For some women it is safer to have another caesarean.

The risk with a VBAC is that the old scar on the lower segment of your uterus may start to open. If this happens you will have a lot of pain and your baby will become distressed. This only happens in around 1 out of every 200 women having a VBAC.

To make sure we spot anything going wrong we will:

  • record baby's heart rate all through your labour
  • keep a check on your pulse rate, blood pressure and pain
  • ask the doctor on duty to come and see you if we have any concerns
  • try to make sure your labour is not too long
  • give your labour care in B & A where help is right there if you need it.

The rates of successfully having a vaginal birth are:

  • up to 7 out of 10 who have not had a vaginal birth in the past
  • up to 9 out of 10 who have had a vaginal birth in the past.

Pamphlet VBAC

This page was last updated at 4:35PM on August 18, 2021.